Exploring mothers' perceptions of the role of play in early childhood development (4 to 6 years old) in the context of upper Chitral, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This study intended to explore mothers’ perceptions regarding the role of play in early childhood (4-6 years old) in the context of upper Chitral, Pakistan. A cross-sectional survey design was employed within the quantitative paradigm and 8 ECD centers from a private organization were selected through simple random sampling. A total of 152 mothers participated in the study. A contextually relevant tool was developed and was validated by three experts, covering areas related general perceptions of play and its contributions to different domains in child development. SPSS 20 was used to analyze the data. Descriptive analysis was employed and Kruskal-Wallis H test was applied along with the pair-wise comparison to examine the statistically significant differences among mothers with different education levels in their views regarding play. The major findings of the study show that generally the sampled mothers had positive views regarding the importance of play and its contributions in early years. However, they were less likely in favor of their children spending a lot of time in playing, and preferred their children to finish their homework before play. Mothers also recognized the positive impact of play on different developmental domains i.e., social and emotional, cognitive, physical, language and literacy development of a child. The results of the Kruskal-Wallis H test and pair-wise comparison indicated that as compared to mothers with lower education degrees, the mothers with higher education degrees perceived play to be more helpful in some of the developmental domains: the general function of play, play in social and emotional development, and play in cognitive development. On the basis of the findings, it is recommended that this study can be further conducted on a larger scale and include other stakeholders e.g. fathers, teacher, grandparents etc. A qualitative research aspect can be added to obtain in-depth insights of mothers’ views regarding the contributions of play in early years. Furthermore, awareness sessions could be conducted especially for the mothers with lower education degrees. The policy makers and curriculum developers could ensure the involvement of parents in development and implementation of play based content and activities.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library