Reynolds and Jones (1997) present and explore the concept of the ‘master player’ to consider the complexity of children’s play and the nature of the adult’s role in supporting the journey towards mastery. They state (p. 11):
The young master player is competent because she is playing. Time for play is valuable because play is the child’s most comfortable medium – in play the child is sharp. Because 4 and 5 year olds are at their best when they are playing, it is the mode that allows them to practise other skills: taking initiative and solving problems within the constraints of tasks or rules, focussing attention for long periods of time, negotiating social relationships, inventing and imposing patterns and order and manipulating materials and ideas in creative ways.