A selected list of Bob Hughes publications
  • Hughes, Bob. 2011. Evolutionary Playwork. 2nd Edition. Routledge
  • Hughes, Bob.  2006. Playtypes: Speculations and Possibilities. London Centre for Playwork Education and Training
  • Hughes, B. 2002. A Playworker's Taxonomy of Play Types. 2nd Edition, Play Education
  • Hughes, B. 1996. Play Environments A Question of Quality. Play Education
  • Hughes, Bob (ed). 1993. International Play Journal. Vol. 1 Number 3. September 1993
  • Hughes, Bob.  1975. Notes for Adventure Playworkers. Children's and Youth Action Group
PlayEducation's Proceedings and other Publications. Playwork history and policy development as it happened …

PlayEd 1982 - The Transcript
The Transcript of the first ever PlayEd. A look at science and playwork. Prof. Margaret Boden on computers as playmates, Dr. Dorethy Einon on the biology of play. Peter Heseltine's review of the current state of play, the late Frank King on how we can improve ourselves and Dr. David Canter on how we use the environment.

PlayEd 1983 - Play and Playwork: Developments and Definitions
Not so much a conference, more a team building exercise. Prof. Peter Smith on recent advances in understanding play, and Shirley Otto and George Gawlinski with the results of one of the biggest group work exercises ever - Why is Play important?

PlayEd 1984 - Playwork: Bases, Methods and Objectives
The late Drummond Abernethy on the history of playwork, Wendy Russell on playwork training, Christine Morrison discusses new models for committee work, Jo Johnson on the play environment and Simon Hooton on resource centres. Not forgetting research into playwork from Penny Logan, playing with Turtles, from Harry Shier, The Famous Ship Debate, and Hank Williams exploring playwork myths and strategies.

PlayEd 1985 - The Priorities - Issues in Context
A year dominated by other issues, although playwork still hung on in there. The two Bill, McCulloch and Sanderson, looked at adventure play, Dave Renshaw discussed why the disabled are a special case, Mary McKee explored social intervention, whilst Simon Hooton and Tony Brauer started the debate on Greenplay. Anti sexist playwork was looked at in 'Poles Apart' by Sheila Rushforth, Dylis Pugh and Polly Goodwin, political community action came from Tony Dronfield, and Tim Ferguson asked, 'The Police, A Playwork No Go area?'. Donne Buck discussed Health and Safety, Tony Chilton explored play provision in rural areas, Dave Kershaw argued for a professional institution, Christine Taylor looked at Training and Validation, and there was another debate, this time chaired by the late Col. Bob from the NPFA.

PlayEd 1986 - The Priorities - Issues in Context II
This was around the time the Job Creation Programme was starting to bite, when PlayBoard in England was causing the NPFA to rethink, and PlayBoard (Northern Ireland) was giving the rest of us food for thought. Mary McKee talked about playwork in Northern Ireland, David Potter asked, "After Adventure Playgrounds what's next?", Fran Whittle discussed the continuing relevance of Fair Play for Children, Keith Hackett talked about Micky Mouse and the Ice Cream Sales People. There was Sue McFerron on Garston Adventure Playground, Colin McFadyen on the NPFA's future strategy and Sheila O'Grady on playwork from a community development perspective. Gordon Sturrock looked at playwork education through self managed learning and Janet Rowe had another look at Greenplay. Paul Bell talked about play provision in inner city housing estates and Rob Blackett gave us insights into the Special Projects Unit at Newcastle Upon Tyne.

PlayEd 1987 - 1988 Part 1
The first of a two year compilation forced on us by serious money problems. We've lost PlayBoard in England, people want to cleanse these Aegean stables (of playwork) of lefties, it is the start of the Sports Council's reign in playwork and the gestation of the Play Unit (NCPRU). Wendy Titman spoke on a Question of Rights, Jan Loxley asked "Are we selling our children short?", Peter Heseltine spoke about the work of IPA, Sue Palmer and Bill Major presented ideas on how adventure playgrounds could survive and thrive. John Weatley outlined the future role of the Sports Council's Play and Recreation Unit and Jackie Woolcott asked, "Activity - Exploration or Entertainment?" Plus Bob Hughes on Playwork - The Challenge. Part I.

PlayEd 1987 – 1988 Part II
The second of our two year compilation. Dr. Graham Hole looked at the problems of studying play scientifically, Gary Francis (HPA) explored playwork as intervention, development or both?, Arthur Battram listened for messages from the future, whilst Bob Adams investigated the MSC. Anthony Powers looked at the management of play, Hank Williams turned visions into realities, Eddie East identified appropriate training for playworkers, Judy Benson and Cllr., M. Taylor discussed implementing a play policy and Frank King spoke on Playwork - The Challenge Part II.

There were PlayEds in 1989 in Liverpool, in Cardiff in 1990, in Bolton in 1991 and two in Wolverhampton (1992/1993) but they were never written up. Frank King died in 1989, PlayEducation collapsed through lack of funds in 1990 and Bob Hughes (Play Education's founder) became an auxiliary nurse for a while, before becoming a face-worker again. This time in Peterborough. The next recorded PlayEd was the 13th at Leeds Metropolitan University in 1997.

PlayEd 1997 - Playwork as it happens
Arthur Battram from the Local Government Management Board blew everyone's head off with 'Designing Possibility Space - The Key Task of Playwork; Jess Milne et al, gave a workshop entitled, PlayStructures: You can do it; Christine Taylor from London Borough of Islington's Play Training Unit did 'The Meaning of Adventure Play for Playworkers' (an early foray into her interest into Winnicottian ideas and playwork) ; Two of Leeds Met. Uni's own playwork students, Chris Snell and Shimamura Hitoshi gave a presentation entitled 'They don't play out like they used to, do they?'; Jackie Erlich a hospital play specialist spoke on the Therapeutic value of play; Meynell from Meynell Games gave a presentation entitled, 'Keeping young people involved, interested and enthused; Gordon Sturrock talked on, 'SPICE - a redundant metaphor: towards a more extensive definition; Itoku Tsukamoto, from the C.G. Jung Institute, and who had given a Frank King Memorial Lecture at one of the Wolverhampton PlayEd's returned to speak on, 'Playing, Praying and Painting : Fantasy as Initiation in the Art Therapy of Cancer Patients; Mary McKee from PlayBoard (NI) asked, "Does Youth Work or Playwork?"; finally Wendy Russell asked, "Has the work turned? Exploring the intervention of playworkers in children's play.

PlayEd 1999A - Theoretical Playwork and the Research Agenda
This is the first record of two conferences on the theoretical bases of playwork held at the Maltings, in Ely Cambridgeshire. It contains 10 of the 12 presentation that were made.
  1. Does playwork have a neurological rationale, Bob Hughes, PlayEducation
  2. The Physical Environment of Playwork : Design and Management for Play Value, Prof. Robin C Moore (IPA/USA) and Nilda Cosco, Vice President IPA Latin America
  3. Involving Playworkers in Academic Research, Steven Chown, Shefield College
  4. Winnicott and Playworkers, Christine Taylor et al, LB Islington
  5. Reverie, Imagination and Fantasy as a Ludic Ecology, Gordon Sturrock, Thurrock College.
  6. Riskogenics: an exploration of risk, Catherine Gordon, Wolverhampton MBC
  7. History and Theory, their role in the development of playwork, Keith Cranwell, Thurrock College.
  8. Experiments on Children, Stephen Rennie, Leeds Metropolitan University.
  9. Losing my Religion, Mick Conway, Director, Hackney Play Association.
  10. Practical Applications of the Psychludic Model for Playwork, Perry Else, Sheffield MBC.
PlayEd 1999B - New Millennium - New Playwork?
This contains the presentations at this PlayEd in Sheffield.
  • Gordon MacLellan - Celebrating Urban Environments
  • Mark Gladwin - Consulting children through and about play: what should playworkers be doing?
  • Josephine Seccombe - Evaluation is Invaluable
  • Chris Winkley/Julia Sexton - "What do we think we are playing at?"
  • Chris Winkley/Julia Sexton - Family Fortunes, A light hearted look at at the world of Play
  • Jackie Kilvington - How was it for you?
  • Sue Coates/Courtney Wright - It's only adventure play but the like it!
  • Shelly Newstead - Playwork Training - A change agent for the New Millennium.
  • Anita Hill, Hilary Smith, Jess Crump - PLEIAD
  • Jackie Martin/Keeks McGarry - Putting the adventure back into play.
  • Keith Cranwell - Street play from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Tim Gill - Supervised play services - why, what for, how and who pays?
  • Stephen Rennie - The 'isms of playwork.
  • Bridget Handscomb/Mick Conway - Who is judging who? Professional Playwork Practice.
  • Perry Else - Old Playwork? New Playwork!!!
PlayEd 2000 - New Playwork, New Thinking
This contains the presentations from the second theoretical playwork meeting held in Ely.
  1. Some sociological reflections on play. Dr Berry Mayle, Institute of Education
  2. Men in Playwork. Jess Milne, Hackney Play Association
  3. Dyslexia and Signing, Alex Hawthorne, Thurrock College
  4. Organised spaces for leisure, Dr John McKendrick, Glasgow Caledonian University
  5. Play Value Research Project, Fraser Brown, Leeds Metropolitan University
  6. Fenceworks and Freedom, Maria Almey and Becky Harrison, Shakespeare Walk AP
  7. Behind Bars, Barbara Tamminen, Wakefield Prison Visits Children's Play Facility, and Steven Chown, Leeds City Council.
  8. Real Play, Real Playwork? Michelle Virdi et al, Islington, London.
  9. Reflections and Findings of an MA in Playwork Development Studies, Bob Hughes, PlayEd.
PlayEd 2002 – One Heart, Many Pulses
The Proceedings of the 15th PlayEd, run in conjunction with Cardiff Council’s Children’s Play Services at the Channel View Centre, Gangetown, Cardiff on 15th – 16th October 2002.
  1. Ethics for Playwork – Jess Milne Hackney Play Association
  2. Riskogenics Part II – Catherine Gordon (Freelance)
  3. Playwork as a Biological Birthright – Suzanne Wright Crane  USA
  4. Reflections  - Maureen Palmer. LB Islington Children’s Services
  5. From Policy to Practice – Lynn Beckett. Sandwell Council
  6. Do Children Really Come First – Andrew Toon. Watford Council
  7. The Good Enough Game Workshop – Penny Wilson, Janice Gander and Chris Taylor
  8. Edging Towards Recalcitrance – Arthur Battram PleXity
  9. Scintillators – The New Kids on the Block – Gordon Sturrock, Thurrock College
  10. American Adventure Play/The Houston Experience  - Halcyon Reese-Learned, Ph.D.   USA
PlayEd 2003 – Playwork in Normality and in Extremis
The   Proceedings of the 16th Play Ed, run in conjunction with Belfast City Council, Recreation and Community Development Section, at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast 28th and 29th October 2003.
  1. Opening Speech – Nigel Williams, NI Commissioner for Children and Young People
  2. Extremely Normal Play – Penny Wilson and Adam Green
  3. Does Training Help in Extreme Situations? – Jess Milne
  4. Positive Play Partnerships – Fred Brown
  5. Working on an Interface – Patsy Laverty and Sean Montgomery
  6. The Survival Self – Gordon Sturrock
  7. Monsters of Play – Arthur Battram
  8. Developments of Sectarian Attitudes – Barbara McIlwrath
PlayEd 2005 – What is the Future for Playwork?
The Proceedings of the 17th PlayEd, held at the Maltings Conference Centre, Ely, Cambs on 1st and 2nd March 2005
  1. From Guerrilla Playwork to the Centre of Government Policy on Play – Mick Conway
  2. What will inclusive play look like in five years time? – Penny Wilson
  3. Through the Looking Glass – Bridget Handscomb
  4. Recapitulation. Romantic Nonsense or Evolutionary Masterpiece? Bob Hughes
  5. The Frank King Memorial Lecture. “Guilty until Proven Innocent.”  Ute Navidi, Director London Play
  6. Ethics and Playwork Part II – Jess Milne
  7. On being a Playworker – Stuart Lester
  8. The Unnatural Art of Playwork: BRAWGS continuum – Wendy Russell
This valuable collection provides a unique insight into playwork's evolution over the past two decades and is only available from PlayEducation. It is a must for play libraries and playwork training units, University Courses, and for NVQ and other students of playwork. Each title comes DIY photocopied and bound and costs £20 inc., P&P, although reductions are available for bulk orders. Contact for further information or to place an order.

Other PlayEducation Publications:

A Dark and Evil Cul-de-Sac (Has Childrens’ Play in Urban Belfast been Adulterated by the Troubles?) MA Dissertation by Bob Hughes  Price £14 + £2.50 p&p

Notes for Adventure Playworkers by Bob Hughes
Written by Bob in 1975, 'Notes' gives a sometimes controversial view of playwork through a playworker's eyes. There are sections on Management Bodies, Local Authorities, other Children's Agencies, and the day to day work of playwork, interspersed with funny and often moving cameos of the kids he worked with. "An excellent read".
Price £10 + £2.50 p&p

Playworks, by Hank Williams
Written by Hank in the early 1980's, Playworks’ contains a series of essays which look at playwork from a strategic perspective. There are contributions on The Expression of Hurt, Professionalism, Playwork: Myths and Strategies, Playwork as Community Work, Training Strategies, and Looking Back. "A useful analysis."
Price £14 + £2.50 p&p

Other Titles from PlayEducation or Bob Hughes.

Play Environments : A Question of Quality
published in 1996 by PLAYLINK it is now available from  price £17.50 inc., P&P.

A Playworker’s Taxonomy of Play Types (2nd Edition)
Originally published in 1996 by PLAYLINK, and now revised, the new ‘Taxonomy’ is now available from price £17.50 inc., P&P
  1. The First Claim : A Framework for Playwork Quality Assessment published in 2001 by PlayWales It has a section on risk by Tony Chilton and Doug Cole. 
  2. The First Claim : Desirable Processes published by PlayWales in February 2003.

Both are available from PlayWales, Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff CF10 5FH

The revised edition of Evolutionary Playwork, published in 2011 is available from Routledge.

To order direct, go to: click on Catalogue and search using ‘evolutionary playwork’ key words.

Bob Hughes new book, PlayTypes – Speculations and Possibilities published in 2006 can be can be obtained from

Feedback about Evolutionary Playwork Published 2011. See review by Marc Bekoff, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, USA
  • “Masterwork.”       Peter Heseltine, Vice Chair International Play Association.
  • "Very, very inspiring, a bible for playworkers". Karen Emery (Community Play Development Worker)
  • "I gained much from the work on deep play - understanding more of its meaning and the importance of death in life affirming processes". Christine Taylor (Playwork Trainer)
  • "This is a superb book". Navraj Sidhu (Playworker)
  • "I have found good inspiration as well as confirmation of my work practices". Barbara Hendricks (Playground Designer)
  • "What an accomplishment". Robin Moore (Past President of The International Play Association)
  • "This affective book takes playwork to a different dimension and offers children the hope, that some of those who work most closely with them understand their play in its deepest forms. The profession needs to take note. Gordon Sturrock (Lecturer in Playwork)
  • "This book is a gem. The students quote it endlessly. We have 12 copies in our library so far, and they still borrow is as popular on teacher education and childhood studies courses as it is in playwork". Stephen Rennie (Lecturer in Playwork)