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More than any other textbook on the market, Play and Child Development, Fourth Edition, ties play directly to child development. The authors address the full spectrum of play-related topics and seamlessly blend research, theory, and practical applications throughout this developmentally-based resource. Readers will learn about historical, theoretical, and practical approaches to promoting development through integrated play and learning approaches across various age or developmental levels. The book analyzes play theories and play therapy; presents a history of play; and discusses current play trends. It explores ways to create safe play environments for all children, and how to weave play into school curricula. Finally, the authors examine the role of adults in leading and encouraging children's natural tendencies toward learning by playing. Special coverage includes a full chapter on play and children with disabilities, and the value of field trips in supporting learning. This edition offers expanded and/or updated coverage on evidence based play theory, child development, play environments, and early play-based curricula for children of all abilities in various learning contexts. All content in the text is purposefully arranged to guide its readers through key and core topics leading to a comprehensive understanding of play intended to help prepare pre-service teachers to lead and support children's play in a number of contexts: preschools, elementary schools, park systems, and research programs.