�Margaret Lowenfeld was one of the great pioneers in the discovery of childhood � the discovery was itself an outstanding human and scientific event of the twentieth century � and part of the whole intellectual adventure of seeking ways to explore children�s thinking and feeling.� Margaret Mead, world renowned anthropologist and author of Coming of Age in Samoa
�Play in Childhood is a seminal book that continues to exert a strong influence on how play is viewed today. Play is described by Lowenfeld as �an essential function of childhood basically concerned with the adaptive process; related to that process which must continue throughout life and which profoundly affects man�s ability to survive�� � In the conclusion of the book, Lowenfeld stated unequivocally that �without adequate opportunity for play, normal and satisfactory emotional development is not possible�.� Honoring play as a healing modality was one of Lowenfeld�s original contributions. Even though play was being used by child therapists when this book was written, play in and of itself was not recognised as therapeutic and healing� Some therapists even viewed it as a defence mechanism. Play in Childhood paved the way for an expanded view of the child�s most natural impulse.� From Rie Rogers Mitchell and Harriet S. Friedman, Sandplay: Past, Present and Future.