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Play to Z Ltd


Founder of Play to Z, Sue Gascoyne, is an accomplished author whose writing has been commended for its exciting, informative, accessible and enlightening style.

Current Projects:

Sue's latest book will be focusing on Messy Play, a staple in Early Years settings and is expected to be available in the Autumn. To be published by Routledge it will be a David Fulton book. If you'd like to contribute your own messy play experience, examples and ideas, then Sue would love to hear from you. To get involved and even see your name in print, contact, or why not complete this Messy Play survey

As well as regular articles in the national and international press, we're delighted to announce that Sue's article Patterns and Attributes in Vulnerable Children’s Messy Play is due to be published by Taylor & Francis as a book.

Sue's Published Books:

2017                          50 Fantastic Things to do with a Treasure Basket (Bloomsbury)

2017                          Patterns and Attributes in Vulnerable Children’s Messy Play. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal25 (2): 272-291. Oxford: Routledge. DOI: 10.1080/1350293X.2017.1288019.

2016                           Contributory author on the International Handbook on Early Childhood Education(Springer).

2015                           Play in the Reception Classroom (Early years Educator).

2012                           Treasure Baskets and Beyond – Unlocking the Potential of Sensory Play (Open University Press).

2012, 2013, 2016        First, second and third editions of Sensory Play (Practical Pre-School).

2011                          Chapter 1 in Cross Cultural Perspectives on Early Childhood (Sage).


Here's what some of you have said about Treasure Baskets and Beyond:Realizing the Potential of Sensory-rich Play, finalist in the 2012 Nursery World Awards.

“This accomplished book represents an impressive and important extension of previous writing in the field and is sure to expand practitioners’ understanding of the fascinating medium that is the treasure basket.” – Janet Moyles - Author and Professor Emeritus, Anglia Ruskin University

'In this book the author Sue Gascoyne uses the word wow in several contexts - about the content of treasure basket needing a wow factor and of course about the moments during play when the infant playing with the objects in the treasure basket has a 'wow moment'. I now need to add another wow- that being my reaction when I first opened the book and saw the contents page and read the forward - this was a book that I was going to not only enjoy reading but learn a lot from as well. As a parent, grandparent and an early years practitioner I have used treasure baskets over many years both shop brought ones and ones that I have made myself, and have been fascinated by the play and discovery that develops through use of treasure baskets. I have also read lots of articles and attended workshops on treasure baskets. However it was not until I read Treasure Baskets and Beyond, that I fully appreciated the benefits of this type of play. Throughout the book Sue Gascoyne refers to chapters already read and chapters still to come - I found this incredibly useful as it reminded me where I had read that bit of linked information and also signposted to where further information could be found - great for those who like to dip in and out of books and for those who maybe skim read and then think 'now where did I read about that aspect?'Almost every chapter had a wow piece of information, something that as an experienced practitioner I had not known or not fully understood before; and yet the book is written in a style that those who had no previous knowledge or experience about treasure baskets would find easy to understand due to the explanations about terms used in layman's language. This book has a very apt title 'Treasure Baskets and Beyond' because it is not just about treasure baskets and it is not just about babies use of treasure baskets - it covers so much more - and to sum up I think the the final word in the title says it all 'Beyond' - it certainly took my understanding and knowledge to a new level - beyond what I knew before I read the book. I would recommend all early years practitioners, parents of young children and indeed primary school staff read this book, because the benefits of sensory rich play reach far beyond infancy and well into childhood - and beyond.' - Penny Webb, Childminder

'Like many pedagogic ideas that have been around for a long time, Treasure Basket Play has strayed far from its original conception and bad practice is commonplace. This book addresses the problem combining the `how `of Treasure Basket Play with the `why' without compromising Goldschmied's original idea. It will be valuable for those familiar with Treasure Baskets, linking them back to why such play is essential for all children and equally valuable to new practitioners. It is one of those rare books that combine academic rigour with readability making it accessible to practitioners at all levels. It not only explains Treasure Basket play in its purest forms but also invites practitioners to extend this play in ways that truly deepens the pedagogic understanding of the benefits of sensory play in an age of rampant commercialism where practitioners and parents are easily swayed into buying toys that have educational aims and age brackets on the packaging.' - Sue Aycliff

'Not finished this yet and it is a book that you will never finish reading! One to return to .... inspirational!' - Catherine House, Manager of chain of outstanding nurseries and multi-award winning Springlands Training Assessment Centre