Account Navigation

Account Navigation

Currency - All prices are in AUD

Currency - All prices are in AUD
 Loading... Please wait...
Play to Z Ltd

Sue's Published Books

Founder of Play to Z, Sue Gascoyne, is an accomplished author whose writing has been commended for its exciting, informative, accessible and enlightening style. Here's what some reviewers have been saying about Sue's latest book Messy Play in the Early Years - Supporting Children's Material Engagements:

"This remarkable book gives us the whys and wherefores of messy play, and ways of putting it into practice."

book-cover.jpg"I loved reading this well-considered and thoroughly researched book."

"Guaranteed to make the reader question their own understanding and interpretations of children’s material engagements"

"I loved this very accessible, thought-provoking and stimulating book."

Messy Play in the Early Years - Supporting Children's Material Engagements was published just in time for Christmas 2018 for the lucky ones who placed pre-orders. After selling out twice I'm pleased to report that it's now back in stock!

Still not sure it's for you, here's what it 'say's on the can'

Combining a rich theoretical foundation with practical tips, advice and case studies, Messy Play in the Early Years provides an informative and practical exploration of the unique qualities, characteristics and learning possibilities of messy play.

Packed with valuable insights from research and theory, along with practitioner’s experiences, this accessible book will bolster readers’ understanding and appreciation of messy play and demonstrate how a range of material engagements can enhance young children’s development and learning. Exploring an array of resources and a broad spectrum of approaches, including adult-and child-led inquiry, chapters consider how the specific sensory qualities of materials encourage problem-solving, scientific thinking, creativity, self-regulation and self-expression as children discover and make sense of new phenomena. With examples of international practice and reflective questions throughout, the book highlights a variety of approaches to meeting differing time, space and budgetary needs, simplifies preparation and planning, and empowers practitioners and children to understand and use messy play effectively.

An essential guidebook to supporting an engaging and rewarding journey into messy play, Messy Play in the Early Years will be an invaluable resource for Early Years students, practitioners and parents looking to understand and enhance children’s learning possibilities.

The book may be finished but if you'd like to contribute your own messy play experience, examples and ideas, then Sue would love to hear from you, contact

 Sue's Other Published Books:

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 chapter. Sue has also been busy working with fellow author Menna Godfrey on a chapter exploring children's rights in relation to materials. Watch this space to find out when you can expect to see it in print.

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).

Feedback on....

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