Influence of play-based learning on socio-emotional development among early childhood children in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria

Elizabeth Olaoluwa Adubuola, Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo, Nigeria
Taofeek Akolade Gbadeyanka, Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo, Oyo State, Nigeria, Nigeria
Baniyaminu Opeyemi Hamzat, Federal College of Education, Iwo, Nigeria
Nasimot Opeyemi Oyewumi, Federal College of Education, Iwo, Nigeria


With two key objectives, this study delves into the impact of play-based learning programs on the socio-emotional development of early childhood children in Afijio Local Government Area, Oyo State, Nigeria. Firstly, it examines whether these programs affect socio-emotional development differently based on gender. Secondly, it investigates how school type, whether private or public, influences the effectiveness of play-based learning on socio-emotional development within this region. This study employs a non-randomized quasi-experimental design. The study engaged 132 early childhood children aged 3-5 years from two schools in the area. An Emotional Regulatory Skill Test (ERST) was designed and demonstrated strong reliability (α = 0.84) and content validity. Results revealed that play-based learning programs are intentionally designed for gender-neutral effectiveness, promoting inclusivity and equality. A significant effect of play-based learning programs on socio-emotional development based on school type was found, with private schools providing enriched environments and public schools leveraging diversity for growth. These findings underscore the transformative potential of play-based learning in fostering inclusive socio-emotional development among early childhood children, advocating for gender-equitable programs, and suggesting allocating additional resources to public schools for enriched play-based experiences. Ultimately, the study offers a vision of a harmonious future where socio-emotional development knows no gender boundaries, and every child thrives, regardless of school type.


Development; Early childhood children; Play-based learning; Socio-emotional

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