Nearly twenty-five years ago, Riesman (1954, p. 333) exhorted social scientists to ‘pay more attention to play, to study blockages in play in the way that they have studied blockages in work and sexuality’. Since that time, there has been increased interest in the study of play, leisure and recreation – three terms which are often confused. Perhaps the reason for the confusion underlying the use of these terms is that each has usually been examined in the light of the focus of interest of particular disciplines or areas of expertise, including psychology, sociology, geography, education, architecture, landscape architecture and so on. In terms of children and play, rarely has an attempt been made to bring together the concerns, biases and knowledge of the various ‘experts’. Because such attempts are few and far between, no strong ‘lobby’ or organization has come to the fore to represent the interests of all persons interested in children and play, and to provide to the world a justification – if that is the proper word – for the importance of play and a set of guidelines suggesting possible approaches to providing opportunities for the development of the full potential of play for all children.