Narrative and play-based interviewing-a framework for eliciting the perspectives of young children

Patricia DeCosta*, Timothy C. C. Skinner, Jette Led Sorensen, Martha Krogh Topperzer, Dan Grabowski

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this article is to provide researchers a detailed framework for conducting high-quality research with young children 3-6 years of age. We argue that young children's insider perspectives, perceptions and experiences are underrepresented in research owing to methodological challenges. In this article, we present a narrative and play-based approach to eliciting the perspectives of young children, 3-6 years of age, through a developmentally sensitive and child-centred approach to interviewing. We will present a practical step-by-step guide to conducting narrative and play-based interviews with young children. Throughout the article, we will provide practical examples and insights from young children. We will discuss the theory and guiding principles of child-centredness and the child's perspective that underpin the method. Last, we will consider the advantages and limitations of the method.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)337-362
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Child's perspective
  • interview
  • narrative story stem method
  • play
  • young children
  • Child’s perspective

Cite this