Mattel Announces Funding of Cutting-Edge Research on the Impact of Play and Child Development
Mattel Helps Researchers Develop a Deeper Understanding of Why Play
Matters with Inaugural Research Grants
Mattel is funding four research endeavors to explore the role play
serves in the cognitive, emotional and social development of children.
Mattel advocates for play in the everyday life of children to enhance
their learning and development.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Mattel, Inc. today announced it will fund four university
research projects focused on the impact of play in children's early
development through Mattel's Philanthropy Programs. The Mattel Play
Research Grants recipients will explore a wide range of play-focused
topics over the next 12 months, including the impact of play on creative
thinking, problem solving and the development of language, social and
Mattel established the Mattel Play Research Grants to help researchers
provide more insight into the benefits of play, the use of the tools of
play, the value of safe places to play and the need to educate parents,
caregivers and the society on the positive power play serves in a
The first four inaugural grants have been awarded to Anna Shusterman,
Ph.D., Hilary Barth, Ph.D. and Emily Slusser, Ph.D., of Wesleyan
University; Ted Hutman, Ph.D., of University of California Los Angeles;
Susan Menkes, M.A., of Claremont Graduate University; Kathy
Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., Kelly R. Fisher, Ph.D., and Kuba Glazek, Ph.D.
Candidate, of Temple University; and Roberta M. Golinkoff, Ph.D., of
Univeristy of Delaware.
Wesleyan University ($25,000)
Understanding the Power
of Play: Study will focus on assessing the cognitive benefits of
independent, self-directed play with toys.
University of California Los Angeles ($20,000)
Play Interactions With and Without Toys: The Impact of Toys on the
Development of Language, Social and Cognitive Skills: Study will
examine the benefits of toy play and will identify mechanisms of
change in mother-child interactions during a critical stage of
Claremont Graduate University (in-kind resources — Imagination
The Influence of Play Platform, Age, and Executive
Functioning Skills: Study will investigate the impact of playing
with emerging play platforms on children's comprehension of material,
as well as the extent to which executive functioning skills contribute
to children's comprehension.
Temple University ($15,000)
Exploring Contextual and
Play Material Constraints on Creative Thinking and Problem Solving in
Early Childhood: Study will explore the impact of play-based (free
play, guided play) and didactic instructional approaches on children's
problem-solving and creativity, as well as examines how toy structure
during free play influences children's play behaviors and creative
"While we know that play is extremely beneficial for a child's
development, we also know that with busy schedules children have less
time to simply play and use their imaginations," said Dr. Michael Shore,
vice president of consumer insights at Mattel. "This new research will
help us learn even more about the development process and how toys can
continue to support learning, socialization and creativity in children."
"I am thrilled that we were awarded one of the Mattel Play Research
Grants," said Kelly Fisher, Ph.D., Temple University. "Given recent
reports that show a significant decrease in creativity during childhood,
little is known about how current educational practices and the
structure of play materials influence children's problem-solving and
creativity. This research may help us to better understand the reasons
and provide a potential solution."
As the worldwide leader in play, the Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) (www.mattel.com)
family is composed of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most
popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American
Girl®, Radica® and Tyco R/C®, and a wide array of entertainment-inspired
toy lines. In 2011, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100
Best Companies to Work For" for the fourth year in a row, and is ranked
among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens."
With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs
approximately 31,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells
products in more than 150 nations. Mattel donates more than 2 percent of
its pre-tax profit toward philanthropic
activities. At Mattel, we are "Creating the Future of Play."
Jules Andres, 310-252-3529
Source: Mattel, Inc.
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