Summary 2. Providing for Play

Having accepted that play is a vital part of development for any child the question then becomes how to achieve this. The normal average child is always more than ready and willing to play. The deciding factor is whether or not the adults in his environment are equally willing and able to let him do so. This in turn depends on whether their knowledge, resources and environment enable them to let their children play.

There has been a tremendous increase in knowledge and a great change in attitude towards children’s need for play in the last ten years. While it has probably been research results and expert opinion which has influenced professionals, it has undoubtedly been the growth of playgroups and playgroup training courses which have influenced mothers who are, after all, the people on the ‘shop floor’. It is the mother who encourages the habit of play, it is she who provides space, material, opportunity and encouragement and at a later stage it is she who will de-cide whether or not her child will go to a nursery group, if so which kind, and if necessary find the fees from her housekeeping allowance.