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ENGR 1611 -- Intro to Mechanical Systems: Understanding your audience

Kids these days....

To effectively design a toy for preschool-aged kids, you'll want to know more about how young children play and develop. And, to market a toy, you might also want to consider what the parent's interests and concerns are for kids at this age (because the parents and grandparents are the ones with the credit cards...)

Example sources

Example journal articles (note the classic IMRaD structure -- Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion)

Solis, S. L., Curtis, K. N., & Hayes-Messinger, A. (2017). Children's exploration of physical phenomena during object play. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 31(1), 122-140. http://dx.doi.org.du.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/02568543.2016.1244583

Example review article (a summary of research on this topic):

Palmer, E. N., Pratt, K. J., & Goodway, J. (2017). A review of play therapy interventions for chronic illness: Applications to childhood obesity prevention and treatment. International Journal of Play Therapy, 26(3), 125–137. https://doi-org.du.idm.oclc.org/10.1037/pla0000045

Example of a seminal work that gets cited over and over again in current research (this work was originally a lecture):

Vygotsky, L. S. (2016). Play and its role in the mental development of the child. International Research in Early Childhood Education, 7(2), 3-25. NOTE: the essay runs from page 6-20, the rest is notes on the history & translation of the lecture https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1138861.pdf

Example dissertation (you might be interested in particular chapters/sections of the larger work):

Solis, Lynneth. 2017. Children's Exploration of Physical Phenomena During Object Play. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education. https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/33797223/SOLIS-QUALIFYINGPAPER-2017.pdf?sequence=1

Example of a non-engineering handbook (engineering handbooks are more technically focused):

Finding more sources on your own