Av Hanan Alkhob & Ann-Sofie Nilsson
The purpose of this study is to study free play in preschool and how children play based on the opportunities they have in the playroom environment. Do preschoolers actively work with gender? At what level do they see gender as something important and as a concrete subject to engage themselves in? To answer our questions, we observed children’s free play and interviewed preschool teachers, to give us new insights into how the preschool works in terms of free play, gender and the play environment. All interviews and observations were transcribed and analyzed using theories on gender, free play, and play enviroment. Respondents had the impression that preschool is for everyone and that children play at the same level, as the toys and material in the departments are intended for all children. All children are allowed, and indeed encouraged to play with all toys and material. We used theories that informed us about how the free play might look in the room, how gender can be visualized during children’s playtime and how the play environment in the room affects children’s play. In our results, we saw how the educators look at the free play. How the educators look at their work with gender and how they think about the play environment in the room. We got an insight into how the work with gender are at the preschools we observed. Our results are consistent with the previous research done in this area. In particular, it requries more knowledge within gender, the meaning of the word and suggestions on how a preschool can work with gender education. In order to develop their way of working, it requires an open mind for change.