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PEDAL Hub: Resource Library


Moving toward a strengths-based understanding of autistic people’s play

Children playing with blocks that spell out play

By Emma Pritchard

How do autistic adults experience and view their play? 


Book to Basics: Having fun with books and play

Mum and toddler daughter sitting on floor playing with book

By Tilly Kirby and Aiman Kamarudin

How can we use books in our play?


Four playful ways to help with anxiety

Child with sock puppet scaring grandparent

By Sydney Conroy

How can we use play to help our bodies recognise we are safe and reduce our anxiety level? 


Scoping the evidence: Hands-on learning with physical manipulatives

Brick play

By Dr Elizabeth Byrne

How can physical manipulatives encourage children's active engagement in everyday learning?


‘Just fun' – or fundamental? Finding fun in early adolescent self-concept

Young people in a football huddle

By Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden

Is fun an integral part of young peoples' selves, or is it a frivolous extra?


Children bouncing back: How families can use play to help children transition to post-lockdown life

Mum holding daughter as she bounces on bed

By Sabilah Eboo Alwani and Krishna Kulkarni

How can families use play to support their children as they transition to post-lockdown life? 


A: Astronauts, play and COVID testing

By Beth Barker

How can we use play to help children engage with the COVID-19 swab?


B: Building Blocks: The power of the brick

Dad and two children sat on floor stacking blocks

By Elizabeth Byrne

How can block play support children's development?


C: Connected communication: Talking about play

By Emily Goodacre


What do we mean by ‘connected communication’ and what does it look like during children’s play?


D: Dolls, diggers, and dinosaurs: Do girls and boys like different toys?

Child lying down on floor lining up dinosaurs

By Emily Goodacre

Do girls and boys really like different toys? 


E: Executive functions and their role in games

Children dancing in front of parent

By Janina Eberhart

How do everyday activities and games use children's executive functions? 


F: Fathers and Play

By Paul Ramchandani


What impact does fathers’ involvement and play have on children’s development?


G: Games in the classroom: Creativity, cognition and the curriculum

By Hayley Gains


How can games facilitate classroom engagement and children's learning? 


H: Health, hospitals, and play: The Teddy Bear Hospitals

teddies sat on chairs with bandaged arms

By Kelsey Graber

How can a playful visit to the Teddy Bear Hospital help children understand hospital care and procedures?


I: Infants and play: Do babies learn through play?

dad lifting his baby into the air

By Dave Neale

Do babies learn through play? The evidence tells us they do but we still have much to learn...



J: Juggling play and learning: The role of guided play

Building blocks labelled with the components of guided play: Challenge, suggestion, hint, co-play, open-ended questions, and model with free-play at one end and direct instruction at the other.

By Kayleigh Skene

How can we bring play and learning together to support children's development?


K: Keeping up the good work: The long-term effects of early interventions

Child sat in a plastic box reading a book

By Catherine Hatcher

What do we know about the long term effects of programmes supporting children's development? 


L: Links with learning? Uncovering parental attitudes towards play in diverse contexts

By Stephen Bayley

What role do parents consider play has in their children's development and learning? 




M: Masked play is still play!

By Kelsey Graber

Is children's play also on lockdown?


N: Nature and outdoor play

children outside collecting leaves in a net

By Soizic Le Courtois

Why is it so important for children to get outdoors to play and learn in nature?


O: Oppression, agency, play and education

child finger painting

By Sara Baker

What would organised education look like with agency at its heart? 


P: Pretend play: Promoting positive emotions in children

Small child playing in kitchen

By Zhen Rao

Why is pretend play a particularly positive place for children?



Q: Quality research for quality classroom practice

By Natalie Day

How can we ensure that research is accessible and feasible in our classrooms? 


S: Social play and its importance - it takes two!

By Lenka Janik Blaskova

What skills do children need to play together and how can we help them along the way?


T: Transitions: Play and the transition to school

four school children walking to school linked in a chain

By Kayleigh Skene and Christine O'Farrelly

How can we use play to support children in their transition to school?


U: Unconventional ideas: What is creativity and how can it be nurtured?

Creativity spelt out using household objects

By Hayley Gains, Emily Goodacre, and Krishna Kulkarni

Why are play researchers interested in creativity? 


V: Videos of family play moments support child development

Mum and young daughter laughing

By Beth Barker and Paul Ramchandani

Are videos of play a helpful way for families to learn about and respond to their children's behaviour? 


W: Why we all need play in a crisis

yellow toy ambulance on floor

By Dave Neale

How can play help us to understand and process thoughts and emotions during times of trauma or crisis?



X: X-SEL in life: Supporting social and emotional learning in early childhood

little girl watching her dad play a ukelele

By Natalie Kirby and Elizabeth Byrne

How can we support children with their social and emotional learning?


Y: You and me: Parent child playfulness

parent lying with children playing

By Krishna Kulkarni

What are some of the everyday ways parents can spend playful time with their children while at home?