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'This is a book well worth reading. It certainly provides all early years practitioners with a challenge, but it is also reassuring in this time of change we have a strong evidence-based philosophy' - Nursery World 'The book is incredibly readable, illustrated with delightful anecdotes and makes useful references to theory' - Emma Hertzberg, Goldsmiths Association for Early Childhood In this book, the Pat Gura explores the use of materials for learning within a social context. Different forms of stuff - blocks beads, climbing frames, dolls and found materials are used to explore the possibilities of materials as tools of all-round development in early childhood. The author presents a range of strategies to help early years practitioners evaluate their provision, as they strive to create environments for early learning which are culturally, developmentally and personally appropriate. She takes a critical look at the conventional assumptions early years practitioners make about sand, water, paint, and the home area, and encourages practitioners to reflect on their practice.