Digital Games in Early Childhood: Broadening Definitions of Learning, Literacy, and Play

  • Marja Kankaanranta
  • Merja Koivula
  • Marja-Leena Laakso
  • Marleena Mustola


Digital games attract children and young people with imaginary worlds, fascinating stories, and shared experiences with peers. They also can add children’s learning and motivation and offer a variety of new affordances to explore and play with. The pedagogical use of digital games has been found to potentially intensify a more critical use and understanding of varied forms of media. In this chapter, we will focus on analyzing the role of digital games in early childhood, especially from the perspectives of learning, literacy, and play. This chapter examines digital games as playing an essential role in young children’s overall technology experiences, particularly in the context of the social dynamics of families and children’s other close communities. In our mind, the analysis of young children’s learning while they are engaged in digital games in informal contexts furthers our understanding of the potential of game-based learning in formal early childhood education settings.


Digital games Early childhood Learning Literacy Play 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marja Kankaanranta
    • 1
  • Merja Koivula
    • 1
  • Marja-Leena Laakso
    • 1
  • Marleena Mustola
    • 1
  1. 1.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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