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PO Ogolla

International Journal of Educational Policy Research and Review
ISSN 2360-7076
Vol.5 (3), pp. 48-56 March, 2018
Available online at
Article ID:/18/EPRR/008/09 pages
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.

Original Research Article

Influence of free play on pre-school children’s holistic development in Homa Bay Sub County, Kenya

Peter Onyango Ogolla

Department of Psychology, Counselling and Educational Foundations, Egerton, University, Kenya.

Author’s Email: ogolapo(at)

date Received: March 2, 2018     date Accepted: March 19, 2018     date Published: March 24, 2018


Play has found little, if any acceptance in most of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers in Homa bay Sub County. Observation reveals that parents and ECD Managers/Head teachers appear to pressurize the pre-school teachers to undertake academic work as opposed to allowing children learn spontaneously through free play. The purpose of this study therefore was to determine the influence of free play on pre-school children’s holistic development. The study employed correlation research design. The target population comprised ECD children, teachers and pre-school Managers/Head teachers in Homa Bay Sub-county. Out of a target population of twenty thousand (20,000) pre-schoolers, three hundred and seventy seven (377) were selected for the study through proportionate stratified random sampling procedure. Two sets of questionnaires were used to gather information from the Managers/ Head teachers and ECD teachers while an observation checklist was used to establish the presence of free play materials and their use in learning. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22. Qualitative data was analyzed through descriptive statistics which comprised of percentages, means, frequency tables and value judgment. Hypotheses were tested by use of Pearson’s Product Moments Correlation Coefficient. The findings of the study showed that free play activities influenced pre-school children’s holistic development. The findings are significant to stakeholders, mainly ECD Teachers, Managers/Head teachers and parents in that it may change their perception about pre-school children arefree play activities.

Key words: Free play, holistic development, play, pre-school children