This is an accessible coursebook for those specifically engaged in playwork and those on Childhood Studies programmes. Most recognize that play is good for children yet we are confused by the dangers we see in the wider environment and so often restrict children's natural opportunities to play. As a result children's play has gained increased awareness amongst a variety of professions working with children, many of whom have different approaches to play and children. 'The Value of Play' is explained using the Integral Play Framework, a model that draws together differing views on the purpose of play and its various types. These ideas are then used as the basis for chapters of the book: showing why playing is valuable to our bodies, our minds, and culturally and socially.There are examples of how play can be supported both informally and formally, at home and in children's settings. As well as theory, there are relevant, practical approaches for play activities, and observations of playing children to help explain the processes. Key questions are asked at times to help those who may be engaged in a more reflective form of practice.
"The Value of Play" has been written to be accessible by a broad spectrum of readers, including all those training to work with children; those specifically engaged in playwork as a field in itself; and, those on Childhood Studies programmes.
Perry Else is course leader for BA Hons Playwork at Sheffield Hallam University. He has extensive knowledge of play theory, contributing to national policy agendas.
Introduction; 1. What do we mean by play?; 2. What gets in the way of children playing?; 3. Why is play valuable?; 4. Playing actively; 5. Playing through feelings and thoughts; 6. Playing through culture; 7. Playing with others; 8. Grown up play; 9. A Play History - From Plato to the Play Ethic; 10. The Every Child Matters framework in England; Appendix; References.