The Cambridge Handbook of Play: Developmental and Disciplinary Perspectives

Peter K. Smith, Jaipaul L. Roopnarine

Research output: Book/Report/EssayBook

16 Scopus citations


Play takes up much of the time budget of young children, and many animals, but its importance in development remains contested. This comprehensive collection brings together multidisciplinary and developmental perspectives on the forms and functions of play in animals, children in different societies, and through the lifespan. The Cambridge Handbook of Play covers the evolution of play in animals, especially mammals; the development of play from infancy through childhood and into adulthood; historical and anthropological perspectives on play; theories and methodologies; the role of play in children’s learning; play in special groups such as children with impairments, or suffering political violence; and the practical applications of playwork and play therapy. Written by an international team of scholars from diverse disciplines such as psychology, education, neuroscience, sociology, evolutionary biology and anthropology, this essential reference presents the current state of the field in play research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages748
ISBN (Electronic)9781108131384
ISBN (Print)9781107192515
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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