Play Policy

EYFS 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2 4.3, 4.4.


We aim to ensure that every child in our preschool, irrespective of gender, background, cultural or racial origin, or individual ability, has equal access to good quality play opportunities within the curriculum and beyond.

What is Play?

Play is freely chosen, personally directed behaviour that actively engages a child. Fun or serious, it helps children to explore social, moral and imaginary worlds and their relationships with them, whilst developing a range of skills to deal with the challenges they meet.

Key Principles for Play

  • Is a vehicle for children’s learning and development.
  • Engages children with interest and enjoyment.
  • Is explorative and purposeful, practical and active, providing children with first hand experiences.
  • Empowers the learner and is inclusive.
  • Non-threatening it encourages children to face challenges and take risks.
  • Deepens understanding with opportunities to apply learnt knowledge and practice new skills.
  • Develops language.
  • Encompasses all areas of learning and development and encourages children to make links in their learning.


  • Adults who are committed to and value the importance of play. Who welcome each child as an individual, support, model, challenge, observe and assess their play, and reflect on their own skills and knowledge.
  • Provide a range of play opportunities through planning and routines, encompassing a wide variety of learning styles and experiences that support the varied ages and stages of development of our children whilst also considering their likes and dislikes.
  • Maintaining a healthy and safe play environment, including opportunities for children to test boundaries, manage risks, make choices and become independent.
  • Communicating regularly with parents/carers sharing information on children’s development.
  • Home learning is valued and opportunities are shared at termly consultations, on support plans, children’s individual learning journals and weekly planning.
  • Children’s development is assessed through observations of them at play and next steps are used to inform planning.
    Provision including planning, resources, routines, activities, storage and training is regularly reviewed in order that they might be improved.

This policy was reviewed August 2020

Signed on behalf of the Preschool Anne Ridgway and Heather Gardner