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'I hope this book will inspire early years practitioners, lecturers and trainers to stop and think in the hustle and bustle of daily practice, to take a fresh look at the play of these very young children. This book does not claim to have all the answers but seeks to challenge practitioners to observe closely and respond to babies as they begin to play' - Elinor Goldschmied, author of "People under Three: Young Children in Day Care". This book focuses on the need to equip practitioners to meet the play needs of children in today's early years settings. With babies and very young children increasingly being cared for in out-of-home care settings, it is essential for early years practitioners to be responsive and reflective to ensure that these young children's needs are met in an appropriate way. "Beginning to Play" explores the young child's right to a high quality, multi-sensory play environment where play really can begin. It builds on Goldschmied's concept of Treasure Basket play, which involves a wide variety of everyday objects gathered together to stimulate all five senses of babies and young children. The book features detailed observations of babies beginning to play at and beyond the treasure basket. These observations support readers in offering rich play materials and experiences.Providing valuable insights and practical support, this reader-friendly book: encourages practitioners to reflect on and review their own current practice; supports readers in recognising and responding to babies' signals and communication; emphasises the need for emotional well-being to enable babies and young children to begin to play; and, examines the effects of non-responsive care on babies and young children. "Beginning to Play" is essential reading for practitioners working with children from birth to three, students on Early Childhood Studies courses, and other readers who are eager to increase their knowledge about children from birth to three.