Page: 543-554 Author: Bednářová, J. Taxová-Solková, H. Key words:
Playing with toys has an important psychological, educational and recreative role in the programme of school clubs’ educational activities. The aim of this study has been to find out which toys are most attractive for schoolchildren in the 6—11 agegroup, what sort of toys the pupils would like to have in their school club, what they prefer playing with at home and which toys they miss in the school club. The method used in carrying out this investigation was that of inquiry (587 pupils), discussion (142 pupils), then observation and interviews with the women in charge of school clubs. It has been, found that the majority of children attending the school club like “classical” toys best: The doll is the most favourite toy of the girls. Boys prefer toy means of transport, table games and boxes of bricks. Both boys and girls are equally fond of the ball and various kinds of sports gear. As the children grow older, play with the doll hardly loses its attractiveness for the girls, while the boys’ interests gradually shift from transport means to more complex mechanisms, do-it-yourself kits and table games of a sports-like nature. Children play with these toys mostly at home. They often miss them at the school club and then they prefer table games and sports gear. Even if such equipment has its function in keeping the children at the school clubs busy and consequently forms a necessary part of these establishments’ inventory, it would be not right that it should remain the only means of satisfying the schoolchildren’s need for free creative play. If the school club toy is to fulfil its function, it is necessary not only to equip these institutions with suitable toys, but a certain fixed time must also be set aside to free play in the daily and weekly programmes. The teachers should use free play to get to know the children better and to deepen their educational influence upon the children.