Children treat play as an end in itself while adults treat it as a means which may serve several developmental functions.
Although traditional educational thinking had emphasised academic work rather than play as the important learning tool at the time, opinion was changing rapidly. Originally published in 1980, these essays drawn from papers given at the International Playground Association's Seventh World Conference, concentrate on the planning and design of play programmes and play environments.
The book reviews the historical approach to play, play in the home, play in institutional settings, handicapped children, planning for play in extreme climatic conditions and play environments beyond the traditional playground.
It also considers the child and the urban environment, discussing high-rise residential environments, and the street and the city.