Publications

  • PLAYWORK GUIDES
  • Childhood, play and the Playwork Principles

    Childhood, play and the Playwork Principles takes a look at some of the theories that influence the way adults understand children, the role of play and childhood, as well as the ethics of working with playing children. It:

    • explores some of the ideas, concepts and theories of child development and childhood that have influenced and continue to influence understandings of children and their play and as a result are important to those practicing playwork.
    • looks at the playwork role and how it both affects and is affected by the environment and the children. It considers how the play process is given precedence and how playworkers balance the developmental benefits of play with children’s well-being.


    This is the first in a series of four playwork guides, which is a collection of resources for all those who work with playing children.

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  • Practicing playwork

    Practicing playwork enables those new to playwork the opportunity to explore some of the ideas, concepts and frameworks, and the practical application of tools and approaches at the core of playwork practice.

    Section one considers concepts such as affordance and the affective environment, which enable those practicing playwork to identify, create or enhance places for playing.

    Having looked at indirect work with playing children in section one, section two looks at a range of ideas that have and continue to influence direct work with playing children. The section concludes by exploring issues related to risk and uncertainty in children’s play and approaches to risk assessment, mainly risk-benefit assessment.

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  • Developing and managing a playwork project

    Developing and managing a playwork project focuses on the practicalities of developing and managing the day-to-day delivery of playwork provision. It is underpinned by the Playwork Principles and produced for those with a good understanding of play and playwork theory and practice.

    Aimed at senior staff who have some management responsibility within a playwork project, it focuses on the managerial duties of senior playworkers.

    Section one looks at the essential aspects to consider when making preparations for a playwork project. Section two will help readers identify and appreciate the role and function of policies and procedures in supporting playwork practice. Section three explores issues related to evaluating the quality of play provision, looking at ways we can continue to review and improve the quality of the provision we are responsible for.

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  • Managing playworkers and working with other adults

    Our final playwork guide – Managing playworkers and working with other adults – focuses on the managerial duties of senior playworkers. It looks at managing staff and working with other adults, including parents and other professionals.

    The guide provides practical information about:

    • Taking on management responsibilities
    • Supporting professional development
    • Working with other adults
    • Handling conflict, criticism and complaints.


    The guide is aimed at senior staff who have management responsibility within a playwork project and is intended for those with a good understanding of play and playwork theory and practice.

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