This book explores the significance of play in the education and development of young children. It discusses a range of theoretical perspectives and develops a framework for considering play. The framework is based on a consideration of the context in which play occurs, as well as the nature of play itself. Readers are encouraged to consider their own views and expectations of play and to develop a strong awareness of their perspectives about the value of play. Play experiences for children are highlighted in several ways throughout the book. Each chapter features several examples of play drawn from interviews with and observations of young children. These are used to highlight key issues and to emphasise the considerable ingenuity and enthusiasm exhibited by young children in their play.