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Children, Play, and Development

Children, Play, and Development

Fourth Edition

April 2009 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Quite simply, this is the best text on play and development I have ever read. It was thought provoking while being reader-friendly at the same time. This work is very thorough and would be an excellent text for undergraduate or experienced in-service graduates."
L. Kathryn Sharp, The University of Memphis

A comprehensive look at children's play from birth to adolescence

Children, Play, and Development, Fourth Edition, discusses the relationship of play to the physical, social, intellectual, and emotional growth of the child. Author Fergus P. Hughes focuses on the historical, sociocultural, and ethological context of play; the role of development in play; and the wide range of theories that provide a framework for interpreting play.

The changes in this thoroughly updated Fourth Edition include new information on cultural differences in object play, a critique of experimental research on play across cultures, brain correlates of aggressive play in humans and animals, the development of the young child's ability to distinguish between reality and make-believe, computers in the classroom, the development of emergent literacy, and the impact of attachment on children's development.

Key Features

  • Offers thorough coverage of theoretical perspectives on play, showing readers how theories contribute to a scientific understanding of play
  • Provides an up-to-date review of the literature, with nearly half of the references new to this edition
  • Includes a rich variety of pedagogical features that illustrate key points and help stimulate class discussions
  • Presents Putting Theory Into Practice sections (two per chapter) that contain practical applications of theory and research

High-Quality Ancillaries

Instructor Resources, including PowerPoint slides, test questions, activities, a sample syllabus, teaching tips, and web resources, are available at

Part I. The Context of Play
1. Historical and Theoretical Viewpoints
2. Ethological and Cultural Perspectives
Part II. The Development of Play
3. The First Two Years of Life
4. The Preschool Years: From 2 to 5
5. Play in Later Childhood and Adolescence
Part III. Individual Differences in Play
6. Gender Differences in Play
7. Play in Special Populations
Part IV. The Benefits of Play
8. Play and Intellectual Development
9. The Social Benefits of Play
10. The Uses of Play in Therapy
About the Author

Particularly like chapter 6 - gender differences in play. This will be useful for debate in lectures

Mrs Tanya Richardson
School of Education, Northampton University
March 23, 2014

Very good book and good focus on different areas of children play and learning and their developmental processes

Ms Sinead Hickey
Childcare Dept, National College of Buisness Administration
November 17, 2013

It's an easy read text which that covers broad areas of play in child development, theory and play types.

Ms Sheleen Aw
School of Health Science, Nanyang Polytechnic
October 8, 2013

Hughes makes the links between children's play and development in a way that brings understanding that connects to practice.

Ms Dawn O'Connell
Centre for Youth Ministry, St John's College
September 19, 2013

I would offer this as a supplemental read for students. I thought the learning objectives were useful to give an overview of the chapter. Liked the issues for discussion at the end of the chapters.

Mrs Helen Elliott
Dept. Family Care and Mental Health, Greenwich University
August 5, 2013

An excellent overview of child development incorporating the key concept of play very effectively.

Mrs Rhiannon Macpherson
Occupational Therapy, Glyndwr University
December 13, 2012

Although there were many practical suggestions concerned with supporting children`s play, a greater emphisis on theoretical positions would have been useful to ensure a more balanced text

Ms Karen Perry
insistitute of education, Manchester Metropolitan University
July 18, 2012

The historical and theoretical viewpoints and the social benefits of play have been a useful read for students.

Ms Deborah Abbott
Professional Education And Development, Doncaster University Centre
July 11, 2012

I am trying to find a book about play which would replace the Moyles, Excellence of Play and this book didn't suit this level. However I would refer to this book for the NC students.

Mrs Jenny Fraser-Smith
Business, Health & Social Studies, Moray College
June 21, 2012

We will be putting this on the reading list in the autumn when the module next runs. It includes perspectives which are not included in many of our other texts which are focussed on what occurs in the UK.

Mrs Zenna Kingdon
Education , College of St Mark and St John
April 15, 2011

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