Play is an underlying theme of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) but it is often a challenge for practitioners to provide a play based curriculum. This book investigates the values and beliefs that underpin play and demonstrates through case studies how play opportunities can be observed, planned and assessed in a meaningful context for the child. Organized into four sections that mirror the EYFS, this book takes you through the curriculum framework demonstrating how play underpins each of these principles and is the common thread that links them together. Chapters include: - celebrating children's play choices - ways to work with parents - inspiring environments for inspirational play - the role of play in supporting key relationships - creative play for flexible learning Incorporating the voices of Early Years practitioners, this book takes the unique approach of analysing the academic theory, showing how this can be put into practice and then suggesting activities to facilitate reflective practice and professional development. Useful to all those studying on any Early Years course, the book is particularly relevant to those leading practice in early years settings and those working towards Early Years Professional Status (EYPS).