The research evidence is rich and convincing: The more children play, the healthier, happier and better lives that follow. Most of the literature has focussed on play in young children, because of the well-established benefits of play in early childhood and for the developing brain. But there is much we don’t know about Play across the lifespan and research is essential to inform education, policy, industry and communities.
Our play research is significant because:
We will promote a better understanding of the strengths, interests and preferences of children and students, as well as the policies and practices in schools and communities that are barriers or facilitators of play.
It will provide schools, communities with crucial knowledge about how to foster children’s play across different ages and ultimately improve outcomes for children.
We develop case studies of play in different contexts with a particular focus on the work of schools that demonstrate successful inclusion and outcomes for children from a diverse range of backgrounds and abilities, offering new ways to engage students in investigations about their lives at school.
We partner and collaborate, maximizing the research impact and with the aim of successful dissemination of the research and uptake in schools and policy.
We draw on theoretical resources from research on a range of fields such as inclusive education, child development and psychology to inform our understandings of play.