Playing and Exploring in the Early Years Cover

Playing and Exploring in the Early Years

Focuses on teaching and learning and its practical implications for early years practice

This book explores the essential area of playing and exploring. It considers the developmental theory behind play and how it is linked to good practice. Considering observations in early years settings as well as current research and thinking, they cover communication and language, the learning environment (both indoors and outdoors) and extended learning.

Ages: 1-4 | Pages: 72 | Code: 0803 | ISBN: 9781927251270

Add to cart
or more each
Book (physical) - A good old fashioned printed book, ideal if you like the feeling of holding it in your hand as you flip through the pages. We will ship your books from our warehouse within 1-3 days.
Vital Source Ebook - You can read, highlight, annotate, create flashcards, and collaborate with colleagues and instructors via any web browser, or for offline access download the Vital Source Bookshelf App (Mac, PC, iOS & Android). The ebooks are available immediately and can be accessed via your filebox. Vital Source books have limited printing functionality.

Orders are normally dispatched within 1 to 3 business days. Goods are shipped by New Zealand Post or by local courier, depending upon the location, with a delivery expectation of 1 to 3 business days. We will email dispatch confirmation and tracking details.

International Orders
We are happy to supply orders from outside Australia and New Zealand. Orders will be dispatched by International Air which has delivery expectations of 3-21 business days depending upon your location.

We offer a 14-day inspection with freepost return on all printed products.
Please be aware that we cannot offer an approval period or accept returns on digital resources, so orders for these resources are final.

Credit Card - Pay securely with Visa or Mastercard when you check out.

Invoice your school - Select your school when you check out. You will need a school order number.

Anni McTavish

Anni McTavish is an early childhood creative arts consultant, writer and trainer, working across the United Kingdom. With a background in the arts, psychotherapy and education, she has had over 20 years’ experience in the early years sector and is an Associate of Early Education. She also leads songs, story-making and movement sessions.


Foreword by Jennie Lindon4
1. What does 'playing and exploring' mean?8
'Playing and exploring' in practice for babies and young children10
The difference between playing and exploring11
Playing and exploring needs for different age groups13
Developmental stages of play14
Good practice – observation, assessment and planning15
Case study reflection20
2. Finding out and exploring22
Natural materials – making your own treasure basket23
Sensitive adult support24
An enabling environment26
Assessing your environment28
The importance of adult interactions29
Supporting children's thinking30
3. Playing with what they know36
What they know37
Dramatic and sociodramatic play39
Good provision40
Playing in a group43
Cultural perspectives44
Planning for next steps – following children's interests48
4. Being willing to 'have a go'50
Supporting children to 'have a go'50
The importance of risk and challenge52
5. A thoughtful approach58
Working with parents58
Supporting play for many levels of learning59
Key points for a thoughtful approach61