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This captivating book illuminates our understanding of how young children develop gender identities. A two year longitudinal research project on children's own understandings of gender casts new light on how 3 and 4 year-old newcomers in early years classes learn rules for gendered behaviour from older children, in their imaginative and socio-dramatic play, and outdoors in the playground. "Children at Play" explores children's power relationships and argues that children need adult intervention and support if they are to cross gender borders successfully. It encourages practitioners to reflect on ways of helping young girls and boys gain access to a greater range of play choices, and it provides practical checklists for action. Essential reading for all preschool educators who are interested in developing children's self-esteem, achievement, positive identities and relationships through play. Early years lecturers and student teachers on BEd and PGCE courses or degree courses in Educational Studies and Early Childhood Studies, and teachers, researchers and policy makers seeking to implement equal opportunities initiatives in early childhood education will need this book.