OBJECTIVE. The study provides a substantive description of infant and toddler play with everyday objects and independent negotiation of home space.
METHOD. A grounded theory approach was used to study 18 typically developing children longitudinally from ages 1 to 18 months. Data from 133 home visits included videotaped self-directed play sessions with usual objects, maternal interviews, and observation records.
RESULTS. Infant Space Theory is a substantive theory of infant–toddler interactions with the spaces and objects of the home. This contextualized view of the infant–toddler describes progressions in gaze and visual play, in mapping and ranging home space, in stationary object play, and in the little-described development of mobile object play.
CONCLUSION. Therapists providing early intervention services within the home environment may benefit from the theory in their creation and modeling of naturalistic interventions with infants and families.