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).

A Unique Child
A unique child

‘A unique child recognises that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. The commitments are focused around development, inclusion, safety and health and well being.’ (DCSF, 2008f: 9)

Case Study: Playing with Cardboard Boxes

NatalieCanning

The children in this case study are aged between three and a half and five years old. It is based on a non-participant narrative observation of play in a preschool.

Cherry is the manager of a preschool in a church hall which means that all of the equipment has to be brought out and packed away at the end of each session. Recently she has noticed that the children have become predictable in relation to their play choices and ...

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