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Shortlisted for the 2013 Nursery World Awards! This is a key text for all those studying for degrees and foundation degrees in early childhood, early years and related disciplines and for candidates on EYPS pathways. It takes the reader through a detailed exploration of the nature of play examining the features and the concepts of play. Guidance on the observation of children's play is included and the text encourages students to appreciate the value of play in development and in socialisation. Children's rights and the ownership of play are also covered. With interactive activities and case studies throughout, the text helps students to arrive at an understanding of their own practice in relation to play. About the Early Years series This series has been designed to support students of Early Years, Early Childhood Studies and related disciplines in popular modules of their course. Each text takes a focused look at a specific topic and approaches it in an accessible and user-friendly way. Features have been developed to help readers engage with the text and understand the subject from a number of different viewpoints. Activities pose questions to prompt thought and discussion and 'Theory Focus' boxes examine essential theory close-up for better understanding. This series is also applicable to EYPS candidates on all pathways. Other titles in the series are Early Childhood Studies, Childhood in Society for Early Childhood Studies and Child Observation for the Early Years.