Play in museums: a scoping review

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This article presents a quantitative scoping review of play in museums, focusing on when, where, and how play has been applied and researched. The findings indicate that the attention to play in museum settings is a relatively recent and growing tendency. Additionally, the review reveals a notable Western bias, with a significant concentration of studies originating from the United States, primarily in the context of children’s museums. Interestingly, the majority of studies on play in museums have been published outside the broader museum studies field. Furthermore, nearly half of the reviewed studies do not treat play as a central and defined concept and only 35% of the studies investigate play empirically as a central and defined concept. Based on our findings, we call for more research published within the field of museum studies as well as encourage further empirical investigations where play is a central and defined concept.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberLatest Articles
JournalMuseum Management and Curatorship
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2023

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