I am a playworker-turned-researcher and in this chapter I discuss my use of a critical ethnography framework to examine researching play from a playwork perspective. Through my research I found that playworkers and critical ethnographers share important ethical and practical similarities. Both these approaches critique established power relations, advocate for marginalized people and use low-intervention, reflective methods which proved particularly well-suited to qualitative research into play and playwork. In this chapter I explore these similarities, and how they enabled me to value ‘insider’ knowledge and to use my skills as a playworker in my research. The discussion raises questions about what critical ethnography in practitioner research may mean for the study of play from a playwork perspective and also for the development of a body of playwork research.