The Right to Play

Brooker, Liz and Woodhead, Martin eds. (2013). The Right to Play. Early Childhood in Focus, 9. Milton Keynes: The Open University with the support of Bernard van Leer Foundation.



This issue of Early Childhood in Focus is published to coincide with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's General Comment No. 17 which aims to strengthen implementation of children's right to rest, leisure, play and recreational activities (as set out in UNCRC, 1989, Article 31).

'The Right to Play' offers short summaries of theory, research and policy issues that can inform the implementation of Article 31. Section 1 is about the concept of play, the ways culture defines play in children's lives, the role of play within early childhood pedagogy and children's own views on play. Section 2 looks more closely at the function of play in supporting children's development, including social, emotional and cognitive benefits. Section 3 is about the opportunities and challenges for realizing children's right to play, including the pressures of early schooling as well as child work, and the implications of commercialization and the growing place of new technologies in young children's lives.

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