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Dr Natalie Canning on Empowering Children in their Play

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Dr Natalie Canning on Empowering Children in their Play


Dr Natalie Canning’s background is in playwork and social work and she is a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood the at The Open University. Her research interests are centred on young children’s play, especially how children are empowered in play. Her most recent book is entitled Children’s Empowerment in Play: Participation, Voice and Ownership published by Routledge in 2020.

In this interview, we discuss what is meant by ’empowering’ children in their play and why this is so important. Dr Canning then goes on to describe her research into Empowering Children in their Play, and the 3 ‘Super-themes’: Participation, Ownership and Voice. Most importantly how we can use these super-themes, without descending into a tick-list mentality, and the benefits for both children and the adults. 

Dr Natalie Canning is continuing and expanding her research, so please do contact her if you are interested in getting involved. 


Dr Natalie Canning’s profile is here:  http://www.open.ac.uk/people/nc4338

Her book is available here: Children’s Empowerment in Play: Participation, Voice and Ownership and here: https://amzn.to/2UGJI1J

You can read some more of her research here:


and here: https://www.earlychildhoodoutdoors.org/childrens-empowerment-in-play/ 

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