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.

The Ownership of Play: Play Space, Play Cues and Play Actions

The ownership of play: Play space, play cues and play actions

Through reading this chapter you will:

  • reflect on who controls play and what that might mean;
  • find out about the notion of children's rights in the play context;
  • learn about Hart's Ladder of Participation;
  • consider how you can further develop children's rights, responsibility and accountability in play;
  • consider the adult role as responder rather than leader of the play process.

Referring back to our original concepts of play and freedom of choice this chapter will further develop our understanding of children's perspectives on their play and ownership of play activity.


Children have an innate drive to play and this can take many forms. There is also a range of contexts ...

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