Locating play today
The task of locating play is complicated by the range of activities that can be called play. This is complicated by using the word play to signify nearly anything that children do, and furthermore, by associating play with idealised, romantic notions of childhood itself. Within the United Kingdom, and in many countries throughout Europe and beyond, policies have a direct influence on what, where, and when children play. The planning of the play is the responsibility of the practitioner/teacher, and the purpose of the play is linked to learning outcomes. Sutton-Smith suggests that play within a developmental science paradigm is located in discourses of progress. Play, therefore, enhances development, and seemingly, it naturally can be linked to, and used for, the purpose of learning. There are many topics of interest within developmental science, which has grown to include a range of specialities and sub-disciplines.