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Resource Library

Welcome to our library of play-filled resources! This resource library contains a range of short articles, blog pieces and videos to summarise findings from our research, alongside links to our latest academic publications.

On this page you can browse resources created by the PEDAL team. You can also use one or more of the filters below to search for the resources most relevant to your interests.

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Play in the face of adversity

Read our paper for the Scottish Children's Commissioner about the value of play for children in the asylum seeking system.

Diversity in autistic play: Autistic adults’ experiences

In this research, we take a neurodiversity-informed approach to understanding autistic play. This means understanding autistic play in terms of differences, strengths and difficulties rather than simply deficits. We also focus on what autistic people say about their play. We were interested in how autistic adults experience play, as well as how they think their play is different to non-autistic play. 

PEDAL PhD Series: Applying for a PhD at PEDAL

Have you ever wondered what it's like to do a PhD? Would you like to know more about studying here at PEDAL? In the PEDAL PhD series, current PEDAL students discuss their experiences of studying a PhD at the University of Cambridge and answer some of your questions about the application process.

All Work and No Play? Busting the Binary in Majority World Settings

In this Play Piece, Stephen discusses whether work and play are different, and the value of play as distinct from work.

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2023: Understanding Infant Mental Health

 In this short animation for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, PEDAL’s Senior Policy Fellow Sally Hogg explains what we mean by ‘mental health’ in infancy and early childhood. You can also find more information and useful resources for supporting children’s mental health in the early years by clicking here.

Exploring play in hospitals in Spain, Australia and England

In this article, Paulina reflects on her travels and what she has learned about Health Play Specialists and their importance to children in hospital.

INSAR 2023: Professionals’ perspectives on strengths-based autism diagnostic assessment

Neurodiversity-informed approaches enable us to move away from simply understanding autism in terms of difficulties. In this video, PEDAL PhD student Emma Pritchard-Rowe presents a summary of her research on professionals’ perspectives of holistic, strengths-based approaches to diagnostic assessment – which can have a positive impact on autistic people’s wellbeing and enhance the support available […]

INSAR 2023: Autistic adults’ perspectives and experiences of play-based assessments

Neurodiversity-informed & strengths-based approaches can help enrich our understanding of autistic play and the diverse array of strengths that autistic people have. In this video, PEDAL PhD student Emma Pritchard-Rowe presents a summary of her research on autistic adults’ experiences of play-based assessments. This poster was originally presented at the International Society for Autism Research […]

Play in South African autism schools: why are formalised ethical processes important?

Why are culturally sensitive approaches to research ethics so important?

Understanding and supporting mental health in infancy and early childhood: A PEDAL and UNICEF UK Toolkit

There is widespread concern about babies’, children’s and young people’s mental health in the UK, particularly after the pandemic. Surveys of children, young people, parents, grandparents and teachers all reveal worries about mental health. Significant evidence shows us that the foundations for lifelong mental health are laid during pregnancy and the earliest years of life. Thankfully, this is more widely […]

Play, physical activity, and physical health

How can active play help improve children's access to physical activity and their physical health?

ITAKOM Conference 2023: Moving towards a strengths-based approach to autism diagnostic assessment

Neurodiversity-informed approaches enable us to move away from simply understanding autism in terms of difficulties. In this video, PEDAL PhD student Emma Pritchard-Rowe presents a summary of her research on holistic, strengths-based approaches to diagnostic assessment which centre autistic voices & have a positive impact on autistic people’s wellbeing and self-esteem. This poster was originally […]

Early Years Library

Learn more about these free resources designed to help early childhood education practitioners support young children’s development of essential skills.

An Introduction to the TRAIL (Teachers Reflecting on Agency in Learning) Programme

Teachers Reflecting on Agency in Learning (TRAIL) is a professional development programme designed to support early years and primary educators in implementing rigorous, child-centred practices that promote agency in children. Many educators are unsure how to balance their role as a guide in children’s learning with children’s exploration and curiosity. In TRAIL, we support educators […]

Ruptured school trajectories: understanding the impact of COVID-19 on school dropout, socio-emotional and academic learning using a longitudinal design

Stephen Bayley, Prof Paul Ramchandani, Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, Addis Ababa University, RISE Ethiopia