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Play Pieces

Got questions about play? You've come to the right place! Our 'Play Pieces' are short blogs written by the PEDAL team and other play specialists that summarise current and trustworthy research evidence to answer play's biggest questions.

Mental Health

Narrative Matters: ‘Encanto’ and intergenerational trauma

How might films like 'Encanto' be key to helping children understand intergenerational trauma?

Autism

Moving toward a strengths-based understanding of autistic people’s play

How do autistic adults experience and view their play?

Families

Book to Basics: Having fun with books and play

How can we use books in our play?

Mental Health

Four playful ways to help with anxiety

How can we use play to help our bodies recognise we are safe and reduce our anxiety level?

Health

Scoping the evidence: Hands-on learning with physical manipulatives

How can physical manipulatives encourage children's active engagement in everyday learning?

Health

‘Just fun’ – or fundamental? Finding fun in early adolescent self-concept

Is fun an integral part of young peoples' selves, or is it a frivolous extra?

Families

Children bouncing back: How families can use play to help children transition to post-lockdown life

How can families use play to support their children as they transition to post-lockdown life?

Health

A: Astronauts, play and COVID testing

How can we use play to help children engage with the COVID-19 swab?

Education

B: Building Blocks: The power of the brick

How can block play support children's development?

Families

C: Connected communication: Talking about play

What do we mean by ‘connected communication’ and what does it look like during children’s play?

Families

D: Dolls, diggers, and dinosaurs: Do girls and boys like different toys?

Do girls and boys really like different toys?

Families

E: Executive functions and their role in games

How do everyday activities and games use children's executive functions?

Families

F: Fathers and Play

What impact does fathers’ involvement and play have on children’s development?

Education

G: Games in the classroom: Creativity, cognition and the curriculum

How can games facilitate classroom engagement and children's learning?

Health

H: Health, hospitals, and play: The Teddy Bear Hospitals

How can a playful visit to the Teddy Bear Hospital help children understand hospital care and procedures?

Families

I: Infants and play: Do babies learn through play?

Do babies learn through play? The evidence tells us they do but we still have much to learn...

Education

J: Juggling play and learning: The role of guided play

How can we bring play and learning together to support children's development?

Education

K: Keeping up the good work: The long-term effects of early interventions

What do we know about the long term effects of programmes supporting children's development?

Families

L: Links with learning? Uncovering parental attitudes towards play in diverse contexts

What role do parents consider play has in their children's development and learning?

Health

M: Masked play is still play!

Is children's play also on lockdown?

Health

N: Nature and outdoor play

Why is it so important for children to get outdoors to play and learn in nature?

Education

O: Oppression, agency, play and education

What would organised education look like with agency at its heart?

Communication

P: Pretend play: Promoting positive emotions in children

Why is pretend play a particularly positive place for children? 假装游戏: 提升儿童的正面情绪

Education

Q: Quality research for quality classroom practice

How can we ensure that research is accessible and feasible in our classrooms?

Communication

S: Social play and its importance – it takes two!

What skills do children need to play together and how can we help them along the way?

Communication

T: Transitions: Play and the transition to school

How can we use play to support children in their transition to school?

Education

U: Unconventional ideas: What is creativity and how can it be nurtured?

Why are play researchers interested in creativity?

Families

V: Videos of family play moments support child development

Are videos of play a helpful way for families to learn about and respond to their children's behaviour?

Families

X: X-SEL in life: Supporting social and emotional learning in early childhood

How can we support children with their social and emotional learning?

Families

Y: You and me: Parent child playfulness

What are some of the everyday ways parents can spend playful time with their children while at home?

Education

Z: Zest! Motivation and playful learning in the classroom

How can teachers harness children's inner drive to learn?

Families

Parent Cooperative Early Learning: The Playcentre Approach

Whānau Tupu Ngātahii means families growing together. Paul Crowhurst tells us more about Playcentre, a family-led, play-based approach to early childhood education in New Zealand.