I study young children's play as an embodied literacy with action texts and everyday imaginaries.

My research reconceptualizes young children’s play as an embodied literacy that produces action texts made with moving bodies or animation rather than print on a page or screen. Taking a critical sociocultural perspective, I study play in playrooms, classrooms, museums, and makerspaces, looking at how players interact with toys, popular media, video games, YouTube, Twitter, and other social networks.

Current research projects include:

  • Literacy Playshop: Critical media literacy through toyhacking and digital media in PK-16 classrooms
  • Literacy and STEM learning in a Doc McStuffins museum exhibit
  • Design Playshop: Embodied literacies in makerspaces.

Research Areas:

  • Play, Early Literacies, Digital Literacies, Children's Media.

Skills and Expertise:

  • Play
  • Digital Literacy
  • Literacy
  • Mediated Discourse Analysis
  • Early Childhood
  • Discourse
  • Learning
  • Childhood Studies.
Past Affiliations
Language Studies, Education
PhD, University of Iowa, Language, Literacy, and Culture, 2007
BA, University of Northern Iowa, Early Childhood Education, 1999
MA, University of Northern Iowa, Early Childhood Education, 1999