Açık Uçlu Materyaller ile Çocukların Oyun Davranışlarında ve Yürütücü İşlev Becerilerinde Ortaya Çıkan Değişimin İncelenmesi
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The aim of the research is to examine the changes in children's play behaviors and executive function skills through loose parts. The study was conducted using an action research design, with the researcher taking on the role of teacher-researcher. The participants of the study consisted of 24 children aged 60-77 months from a kindergarten in Etimesgut district of Ankara, their parents, the teacher-researcher, and members of the Credibility Committee. The research was conducted in two stages: identification of the situation and implementation process. Data on children's executive function skills were collected using the Preschool Self-Regulation Scale (PSRS), Head-Shoulders-Knees-Toes Tasks (HSKT), Child Behavior Rating Scale (CBRS), and The Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI). Data on play behaviors were collected using the Play Behavior Checklist Focused on Executive Function Skills (PBC-EFS) and the Play Observation Form (POF). The qualitative data was analyzed using inductive content analysis, and the quantitative data from the checklists was analyzed by calculating frequency and mean values. After the identification stage and completion of the action cycles, the scales were evaluated as pre-test and post-test. Since the normal distribution condition was met, paired t-tests were used for within-group comparisons, and effect sizes were calculated for each significant value obtained. After the intervention, significant improvements were observed in children's executive function skills, specifically in working memory, cognitive flexibility, attention, inhibitory control, organization and planning skills. When the observed changes in play behaviors following the implemented action cycles were evaluated from a holistic perspective, they indicated a shift towards mature play behaviors.