Covering the developmental range of infancy to adolescence, this book offers a comprehensive study of play—including play therapy, disabilities, anthropology of play, and play environments. It also provides current perspectives on culture and gender differences in play through a blend of research, theory, and practical applications. Focusing greater attention to contemporary issues than other books, coverage includes brain research, play deprivation, therapeutic intervention, and cutting edge information on how and why play is important for children. The book also contains practical material on enhancing play; play leadership; balancing challenge, risk, and safety in play. Other discussions emphasize the need to understand play and children with disabilities, integrate play into classroom curricula, and be aware of special places for play. For teachers and other individuals concerned with child development and early childhood education.