This accessible and focused text for early childhood studies and early years students takes the reader through a detailed exploration of the nature of play. It begins by examining definitions of play and supports students to understand some of the key concepts of play. It goes on to consider the benefits of play, creativity and risk and the contexts for play. The final section considers children's rights and the adult role in the facilitation of play. Interactive activities and theory focus features are included throughout, helping students to arrive at an understanding of their own practice in relation to play.

Identifying Features of Play

Identifying features of play

Through reading this chapter, you will:

  • consider your own recollections of play and the difficulty of defining play in practice;
  • reflect on the difference between ‘play’ and ‘playfulness’;
  • explore potential visible indicators of play activity in children;
  • consider whether we can see play, and if so what is it about the things we see that can be identified as common indicators of play.

This chapter also introduces some observable play behaviours such as the play face, and concepts of intrinsically and extrinsically motivated play behaviour.

Introduction: Exploring the Term ‘Play’

Play is such a common term that we all think we know exactly what it is. Our own childhood memories may be full of examples of playing: those long, hot summer days in the ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles