top of page

[Database Spotlight] Play Object Play: A database of toys & tools made for and/or used by children from subsistence societies

FCS member Sheina Lew-Levy, in collaboration with Felix Riede, Marc Malmdorf Andersen, and Ulrik Høj Johnsen are thrilled to share a new database for research use: Play Object Play, a database of toys and tools made for and/or used by children from subsistence societies.

Material culture is at the heart of human identity and ingenuity. The breadth and complexity of our toolkits have allowed us to adapt to diverse and challenging ecologies throughout our evolutionary history. By investigating the processes by which technology is modified and transmitted across generations, we are uniquely poised to inform how we may harness our species’ innovative potential to thrive in the face of unprecedented environmental change. Play|Object|Play (P|O|P) aims to bring object play and, crucially, play objects in focus. The project seeks to develop an integrative child-centred model of material culture change, drawing on emerging psychological and anthropological understandings of the cognitive and cultural processes by which children develop their tool making skill. The open-access and user-driven cross-cultural database of play objects from ethnographic and ethno-historic contexts is a key research tool in this endeavour.


bottom of page