The function of play was the focus, rather than its content. In more recent research, play research has more clearly adapted a child's perspective and is studied in context, whereby the content has become more important. Play can be studied from many different angles: as a means of cognitive and social development for children, as an arena for peer socialisation, and for children's formation of opinions and creation of culture, or use of language.
By studying children's play, we not only gain knowledge of children's development, language and learning, we can also lear more about how children construe gender, age or ethnicity via social interaction. Studying how play is depicted in policy documents, children's programmes in the media or in literature can provide us with knowledge of how the view of children and childhood have changed over time.
Today research into children's play does not have a major position in research contexts. On the other hand, play is studied in relation to other fields of research such as ethnicity, languages, maths and ICT.
At LIU play is studied as an important part of interaction and conversation research. Play is also studied in relation to children's learning of maths in preschool, children's language development, and the use of language with respect to one and/or more languages, and children's reading and writing ability.