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The classification and analysis of collections of playing materials using the ESAR System.

The classification and analysis of collections of playing materials using the ESAR System is a original six faceted system. (Denise Garon, Rolande Filion, Manon Doucet) The facets represent the stages of child development in keeping with the forms of play and general behavioral characteristics taken from the cognitive, instrumental, social, linguistic and affective perspectives. Influenced by psychology and library science, the methodological framework allows the classification and analysis of playing material by emphasizing the skills required by each toy or game, and by recognizing the specific contribution of the analysed material from the psychological standpoint. The ESAR analysis system based on genetic psychology and very little culturally bound. 

The ESAR acronym stands for the first letters of the four types of play. It gives its name to the system, and helps remember the evolution of the forms of play in the order they are acquired.

E = Exercise play

Sensory and motor exercise play repeated for the pleasure of effects and immediate results. Examples: sensory and motor games, manipulating play, virtual action-reaction game.

S= Symbolic play

Play to pretend, imitate objects and peoples, play roles, create scenarios, represent reality through images or symbols. Examples: role-playing, staging, graphic production game, virtual simulation game.

A := Assembly (or Construction)

Play to gather, combine, arrange and fit more elements to form a whole, and achieve a specific goal. Examples: games of construction, design, assembly, virtual game.

R = Games with Rules

Games with a specific code, and rules, accepted by the players, to comply to. Examples: association game, sequential game, circuit game, skill game, sport game, strategy game, gambling, quiz, math game, language game, clue, virtual rule game.

4 letters, 4 words, 4 stages (facet A) and more (Facets B, C, D, E and F)

This first classification into four types of play (facet A) is followed by a psychological analysis which facilitates the description of intellectual or cognitive (facet B), functional and motor (facet C), social (facet D), linguistic ( facet E) and affective abilities (facet F). These six facets allow a complete analytical look on play, games ou play materials in the perspective of children’s global development.

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