Based on extensive research, and grounded in everyday classroom practice, the authors of this book explore important issues surrounding play in the early years curriculum. The book presents children's views on, and response to their role-play environment, alongside examples of good classroom practice, and addresses vital questions such as: * Will structuring role play replace children's own attempts to create scenarios that grow out of their interests and relationships? * Has an over-emphasis on subjects like literacy and numeracy eclipsed the important processes inherent in children's social play? * How we can ensure that provision for role play fully benefits all young children? Critically, the authors present the child's perspective on play in schools throughout, and argue firmly against a formal, inflexible learning environment for young children. This book will be fascinating to all students on primary education undergraduate courses and early childhood studies. Researchers and course leaders will also find this book a ground-breaking read.