Play Today in the Primary School Playground: Life, learning and creativity

Julia C. Bishop*, Mavis Curtis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book examines the free play of children in middle childhood, exploring their actual play activities in the school playground. It counters the widespread concern about the supposed decline in children's play with fresh evidence from Australia, Canada, France, Israel and Britain of the vibrancy, creativity and variety of free play activities, particularly in the school playground. The detailed case studies discuss the many aspects of children's play traditions, including the use of playground space, the ways in which children learn and adapt games and rhymes in multicultural and monocultural settings, children's creative and subversive use of mass media items, and gendered dimensions of play. Emphasis is on children's own perceptions, the importance of free play at a time when it is increasingly under threat, and the benefits that an informed appreciation of contemporary children's play can bring to teaching, the management of school playtime, and intercultural and intergenerational understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBuckingham
PublisherOpen University Press
Number of pages226
ISBN (Print)978-0335207152, 0335207154
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2001


  • Preschool
  • primary school
  • education


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