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It's not just babies who gain from heuristic play - and better still if it takes place outdoors, as Sara Davies found in her research.

Make the most of water play by offering the best experiences and stocking the essential resources, as suggested by Jane Drake

Movement play is vital to young children's cognitive development as well as physical skills, says Anne O'Connor

Young children's motor and mental development could be suffering because of physical inactivity. Annette Rawstrone hears from experts about the effects.

Building dens is a natural and important pastime in children's social and emotional development. Anne O'Connor explores how adults can support this form of play while respecting children's need for privacy

We found that less was more when we cleared our school's outdoor area and let children choose their own challenges in physical play, says Jane Simons.

Dance is the universal language being used at one school to help young children interact as a group and learn something they're proud to show off at home, as Annette Rawstrone hears.