This book draws on the voices of practitioners, academics and researchers to examine young children’s play, creativity and the participatory nature of their learning. Bringing together a wide range of perspectives from the UK and internationally, it focuses on the level of engagement and exploration involved in children’s play and how it can be facilitated in different contexts and cultures. This new reader aims to challenge thinking, promote reflection and stimulate further discussion by bringing together research and practice on play and creativity.
Divided into two parts, Part I is written by researchers and academics and explores key themes such as creative meaning making, listening to children’s voices, risk and spaces, children’s rights, play and technology. Part II is authored by Early Childhood professionals and reveals how practitioners have responded to the issues surrounding play and creativity. Each chapter is contextualised by an introduction to highlight the key points and a list of follow-up questions is also included to encourage reflection and debate.
Drawing on the wide-ranging writing of academics, practitioners and researchers, this book is an invaluable resource for students, practitioners and all those who are interested in the essence of play and creativity, what it means for children, and the far-reaching benefits for their well-being, learning and development.
Table of Contents
List of figures and tables Acknowledgements Introduction Part I: Researching young children’s play and creativity 1. Reflecting on children ‘playing for real’ and ‘really playing’ in the early years 2. Learning to play, or playing to learn? Children’s participation in the cultures of homes and settings 3. Domestic play collaborations in diverse family contexts 4. ‘Where’s the bear? Over there!’ Creative thinking and imagination in den making 5. Creative little scientists: exploring pedagogical synergies between inquiry-based and creative approaches in Early Years science 6. Young children’s expressions of spirituality in creative and imaginary play 7. 5 x 5 x 5 = creativity: principles, learning and our legacy 8. Children at play: digital resources in home and school contexts 9. Making connections: young children exploring early friendships through play 10. Playful meaning making in music with young children and parents 11. Voices in the park: researching the participation of young children in outdoor play in early years settings 12. Listening to young children: multiple voices, meanings and understandings Part II: Practitioners responding to young children’s play and creativity 13. Equality inclusion and the Persona Doll approach 14. Taking the initiative: creative collaborations for family literacy 15. The role of environments and spaces in the pedagogy of Pistoia 16. Mud, glorious mud! Mud kitchens and more 17. ‘Because we like to’: young children’s experiences hiding in their home environment 18. Using digital resources to document young children’s everyday moments 19. Count on play: the importance of play in making sense of mathematics 20. The role of art education in children’s development 21. ‘My leaf is smiling at the whole world’: exploring creativity through learner-led projects 22. If you go down to the woods today: young children learning outdoors 23. You sing, I sing, we both sing, we all sing
Gill Goodliff is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Programme Leader for Early Years at The Open University. She has a background in social work with young children and families, primarily in the voluntary sector, and has extensive experience of teaching practitioners. She represents The Open University at the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network.
Natalie Canning is a Senior Lecturer in Education, Early Years at The Open University. Her background is in playwork and social work, particularly in supporting children to explore personal, social and emotional issues through play.
John Parry is a Lecturer in Education at The Open University, where he has written and chaired courses on inclusion, primary and early years practice. He has a background of extensive work experience in the early years sector, primarily as a teacher and co-ordinator of educational support services for pre-school children.
Linda Miller is Emeritus Professor, Early Years at The Open University. She has worked both with and for young children throughout her professional life as a practitioner and teacher/practitioner educator.