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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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Listening to children with empathy – the ethical case

In this piece, Soizic le Courtois argues that advice given to parents should draw on scientific evidence about children's subjective wellbeing; children's perspectives and the contribution of any practice to children's development and outcomes. We should also be attuned to our empathetic responses to children, which can give us clues about the "right" thing to do.

Creating Classrooms for Change: Developing cognitive flexibility in schools in Rwanda

This research looked at how schools in Rwanda foster students’ skills for adaptability - their capacity to create, innovate and adjust to shifting circumstances. It uses the psychological lens of cognitive flexibility. Findings highlight teachers’ activities to make lessons more practical and participatory, but also the ongoing obstacles posed by overcrowded classes, resource constraints, inadequate training and limited contact time.

Why and how do healthcare professionals use play in clinical practice?

We explored what healthcare professionals in different roles and different countries understood to be important and useful about the role of play in paediatric practice. According to healthcare professionals, play in clinical practice can be used to communicate and build relationships with paediatric patients and thus potentially help provide patient-centred care.

Do educational programmes for healthcare professionals focus on play?

This literature review looked at the evidence to understand how educational programmes for healthcare professionals include the use of play. It found that play is not consistently or systematically integrated into medical education.

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Supporting play for neurodivergent children

In this session you hear from Kerry Murphy (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Dr Gina Gomez de la Cuesta and Abi Dodson (Play Included) share their expertise on play and its significance in diverse child development. This presentation was recorded on 7th September 2023 as part of the PEDAL Play Conference, an event which brought […]

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The therapeutic powers of play: play therapy as a mental health treatment

In this lecture Siobhán Prendiville (Children’s Therapy Centre in Ireland) talks about the therapeutic powers of play and highlights how well Play Therapy sits within a neurosequential approach to psychotherapy. This presentation was recorded on 7th September 2023 as part of the PEDAL Play Conference, an event which brought together play researchers, policymakers, and practitioners […]

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The complex possibilities of play in schools

In this lecture Dr James Biddulph and Aimee Durning (University of Cambridge Primary School) discuss play’s place in the curriculum, and how they have used play to nurture and promote mental wellness for some of the most vulnerable children within their school community. This presentation was recorded on 7th September 2023 as part of the […]

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Prisons, hospitals and schools: challenges and opportunities introducing play in different settings

In this lecture Dr Paulina Pérez-Duarte (PEDAL), Dina Fajardo (PEDAL) & Mercedes Castañeda (Reinserta) explore and advocate for the use of play in challenging settings, as well as those opportunities where play can enable a powerful change in children’s mental health. This presentation was recorded on 7th September 2023 as part of the PEDAL Play […]

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Public health campaigns: supporting infant mental health through encouraging playful interactions

In this lecture Margaret Gallagher (NSPCC) and Alex Spragg (Better Start Bradford) talk about how two public health campaigns supported infant mental health through encouraging playful interactions. This presentation was recorded on 7th September 2023 as part of the PEDAL Play Conference, an event which brought together play researchers, policymakers, and practitioners spotlighting the benefits […]

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A future for the world’s children? Play as the basis of a new paradigm for a world on fire

In this keynote lecture Professor Mark Tomlinson (Stellenbosch University) discusses the important role of play in building minds and brains in the future that are built for creativity, adaptation, collaboration, connectedness and resilience. This presentation was recorded on 7th September 2023 as part of the PEDAL Play Conference, an event which brought together play researchers, […]

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A vision for happy, healthy childhoods in the UK

In this keynote lecture Helen Hayes (Shadow Children’s Minister and Labour MP forDulwich & West Norwood) shares Labour’s vision for childhood. This presentation was recorded on 7th September 2023 as part of the PEDAL Play Conference, an event which brought together play researchers, policymakers, and practitioners spotlighting the benefits of play on mental health in […]

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Understanding & supporting mental health in infancy & early childhood: a PEDAL and UNICEF UK toolkit

In this lecture Sally Hogg, PEDAL’s Senior Policy Fellow presents PEDAL’s work with UNICEF UK on the new toolkit for understanding and supporting mental health in infancy and early childhood. She explains the new framework which describes what it means to be mentally healthy in the earliest years of life. This presentation was recorded on […]

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Playful approaches to research

In this workshop, Dr Beth Barker, Dr Kelsey Graber, and PhD students Sydney Conroy and Carolyn Mazzei (PEDAL) discuss how play itself can be used as an ethos and a tool to support our explorations of play, development, and learning in childhood during our research studies. They discuss ways that play factors into our research […]

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.