Currently in the EYFS, itstates ‘Children should have the confidence to explore and learn in a secureand safe, yet challenging indoor and outdoor space’ (Department of education,2017) This indicates that the outdoor learning environment is seen valued asmuch as the indoor space (Parker-Rees, R,2011) Yet recently, a number ofpractitioners have reported, play based learning is beginning to be pushed outas pedagogical practice and feel the early years settings are becoming moresimilar to schools. (Barblett, L, 2016) This has resulted in theoutdoor environment no longer seen as a place for children to take part inchild initiated free play, instead it is now being recognised as a place wherechildren should be spending considerable time learning, developing andexploring alongside involved practitioners (Parker- Rees,2011)Play is an underlying theme ofthe Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) nevertheless, it is often a challengefor practitioners to provide a play based curriculum. (Canning, 2011) This is due to more challenging expectations put in place bythe government which has caused practitioners to increasingly feel powerless. (

uk, 2018). As a result, play is beingforgotten about within early years settings and more pressure is been put onpractitioners to make sure the children reach their goals. (,2018). Play is essential for allchildren’s learning development no matter how old. (Maynard.

T & Powell.S, 2014). Play is considered the mostnatural way that children learn (Early Years Matters, 2017) In the UnitedNation Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC), the importance of play isrecognised within Article 31.

Article 31 states ‘Every child has the right torest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate tothe age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts’ (UNICEFUK, N.D.) The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is aninternational treaty which has set out the rights for children. (Admin, 2017)Children’srights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, and what they need tofulfil their full potential, regardless of who they are, or where they arefrom.

(UNICEF UK N.D.) The Convention was approved by the United Nations in1989 and has been ratified by every country in the world apart from two. (UNICEFUK N.D.

) Through signing and ratifying the Convention, each country has agreedto comply with the articles within the UNCRC which help to protect and enhancethe basic rights of children. (Admin, 2018)


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