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Play Assessment Scale

Fewell, R.R. (1986). Play Assessment Scale (5th revision). Seattle, WA: University of Washington.

This scale is an examination of a child's acts or play that demonstrate perceptual or conceptual skills or processes. The examiner can be a parent, teacher, researcher, or other adult familiar with the test materials and the child. The Play Assessment Scale can be administered in any comfortable setting, preferably a carpeted room with space for floor play. Only one adult should be interacting with the child.

There are two conditions that are examined. In Condition I, one set of toys selected for the assessment are placed on the floor. The child's involvement with the toys is elicited with a few introductory remarks. The examiner avoids telling the child how to play with the toy. As the child plays, the examiner watches and scores all spontaneous play after the initial introductory remarks. When the child repeats behaviors or is not demonstrating more advanced behaviors, the examiner moves to Condition II.

In Condition II, the examiner initiates a verbal prompt that elicits a higher level behavior without telling the child exactly what to do. For example, to see if the child will offer the adult a spoon of food, say, "I am hungry too." If this fails, the examiner uses a specific instruction such as, "Feed me too."

Notes should be made about the child's responses. In this stage of the Play Assessment Scale's development, the exact function of the notes is not for purposes of scoring, but the information is extremely valuable to teachers, parents, or others developing appropriate play experiences for the child. The child's play age is calculated.

Eight toy sets are suggested, from which the examiner selects four: two that are appropriate for the estimated age, and one below and one above that level. Each child is given about four toy sets, but no exact number is required.

Availability Information
Rebecca R. Fewell
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195


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