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.

Historical Perspectives and Principles

Historical perspectives and principles

Through reading this chapter you will:

  • develop an understanding of the changing perspectives, theories and concepts of play as they have emerged from the ancient times to the present day;
  • consider the social environment, toys, resources and adult attitudes that have impacted on children's play experiences at different periods in time;
  • reflect on some key policy responses to a growing awareness and understanding of the value of play in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Throughout you will be encouraged to consider what this historical evidence means for today's early years practitioners – and how these understandings can further develop our individual approaches to supporting children's play in a range of contexts.

A Time line (at the end of this book) is offered ...

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