Play is an essential part of learning and development for children and is an increasingly important aspect of creative approaches to teaching and learning in primary education. This book demonstrates the value of play in all its different forms as a highly effective medium for teaching and learning across the curriculum.

The authors explore how play can be used to increase engagement, motivation and fun in learning situations, examining the theoretical principles of play for learning, types of play for older children, planned and facilitating play-based learning, using thematic approaches when working with individuals, groups and whole classes, in addition to covering important teaching issues such as assessment, inclusion and transition out of primary education.

This is recommended reading for students on primary initial teacher education courses including undergraduate (BEd, BA with QTS), postgraduate (PGCE, SCITT), and employment-based routes into teaching, and also for practicing teachers wishing to enhance their own teaching.

What is Play in the Primary or Elementary School?

What is Play in the Primary or Elementary School?

What is play in the primary or elementary school?


It is widely accepted within educational literature that play is a difficult notion to define.

Play is a complex phenomenon that occurs naturally for most children; they move through the various stages of play development and are able to add complexity imagination, and creativity to their thought processes and actions. (Mastrangelo, 2009: 34)

Because of the nature of play, we do not offer a precise definition. Instead, in this chapter we present a range of views of play, including biological, historical, societal, educational and developmental in order to support you to develop your own understanding of play in the primary school.

Points for Reflection

Before reading on, think about the play that ...

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