Playing to Learn – A guide to child-led play and its importance for thinking and learning

Di Chilvers was commissioned to write this booklet by ATL (The Association of Teachers and Lecturers) after many of their members had reported that they were finding it a challenge to implement child-led play and learning in Reception classes.  With this in mind Di brought together the research and practice of child-led play and learning to stress the crucial part this has to play in developing children’s thinking, understanding and cognitive self-regulation.

Young children’s natural affinity and intrinsic need to play is a clever and sophisticated resource that is not capitalised upon enough by teachers. Find out how to tune into their existing world of play, hook into their ideas, thoughts and interests and then to use this to teach. Di Chilvers for ATL

Playing to Learn includes Reflective Tasks which you can use to develop child-led practice in your settings and schools, examples from practice, links to research findings and how to overcome the barriers and challenges.

You can down load a copy at, a hard copy is £10 and is free to ATL members