The Play Cycle 20 Years On

In 1998, Gordon Sturrock and the late Perry Else presented a paper at the IPA International Play Conference in Colorado, USA.  The paper was titled ‘The playground as therapeutic space: playwork as healing’, later referred to as The Colorado Paper and introduced the Play Cycle to play  theory.

In the last twenty years, elements of the Play Cycle (such as ‘play cues’, ‘play return’, ‘play frame’ and ‘annihilation’’) have entered into common use within the childcare sector.  The aim of this exploratory study is to investigate understandings and applications of the Play Cycle within childcare over the last 20 years.

This study is open to anybody who is currently involved in childcare but must be aged 18 years or over.  The research will be undertaken by Dr Pete King from Swansea University and Dr Shelly Newstead.  For more details about the study, please contact Pete at or 01792 602 314.

To take part in this study please click on the link here

The questionnaire can be completed online using a computer, tablet or phone.

The study is open to Friday 21 December 2018.


Dr Pete King



One thought on “The Play Cycle 20 Years On

  1. plexity says:

    I think it’s very unlikely that childcare has been influenced by the Colorado paper. Playwork, yes, ASCs, maybe, but not childcare as a whole.

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