The purpose of this study was to generate a grounded theory of early object rule acquisition. The grounded theory approach and computer coding were used to analyze videotaped samples of an infant’s and a toddler’s independent object play, which produced the categories descriptive of three primary types of object rules: rules of object properties, rules of object action, and rules of object affect. This occupational science theory offers potential for understanding the role of objects in human occupations, for development of instruments, and for applications in occupational therapy early intervention.

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