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.

Developing a Pedagogy for Play

Developing a pedagogy for play

Through reading this chapter, you will:

  • explore the concept of pedagogy and adult practice in support of play for learning in registered settings;
  • reflect on the spectrum of adult-initiated learning and child initiated play;
  • learn about some possible conceptual frameworks relating to pedagogy;
  • review some comparative pedagogic practices;
  • consider the strengths and weaknesses of your own approach.


The intention of this chapter is to address the adult role in supporting children's play in the particular context of registered early years settings and early education. I shall for the moment broadly call this adult facilitative approach in support of play for learning ‘pedagogy’. This chapter will reveal that understanding of the adult role and the use of the term pedagogy in relation ...

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