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Play in the media


Here is a summary of the latest play related articles and blogs to be published online.

One in four kids in the developing world misses out on a bedtime story, says UN - The Guardian (Rebecca Ratcliffe)

A Unicef study has found that reading, singing and drawing are ‘the missing link between survival and school’ that hinders children’s development. A quarter of children under five in developing countries miss out on these activities which are crucial in early development. The report identified three policies essential to supporting families: two years of free pre-primary education, paid breastfeeding breaks during the first six months and paid parental leave.

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Is Calgary ready for child-friendly urban planning? - Rethinking childhood (Tim Gill)

Tim Gill has just returned from Calgary, Canada after the International Play Association. After spending a week in the city in wrote this blog post to consider the possibility that Calgary could be a child-friendly city. He interviewed groups of children and adults to collect different opinions on Calgary’s accessibility to a playing child and found that the groups felt that change was needed. Now, with health and playing on the city planners’ agenda Calgary may be able to accommodate playing children.

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Playing outside or reading a book are things of the past for today’s digital savvy teenagers - Yorkshire Post (Lindsay Pantry)

According to new research from Barnado’s, the number of teenagers who play outside, read a book or get enough sleep has dropped while their use of technology has risen. The poll was commissioned to see what challenges and benefits technology provided teenagers today. According to the Chief Executive, even though the use of digital devices is changing children’s behaviour the best way of dealing with this change is equipping them with the skills and knowledge on how to use this technology safely.

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Look back in play: Part three and four - Child in the City (Maisie Rowe)

These are the last two instalments of writer and activist Maisie Rowe’s reflections of her childhood adventure playground in Camden, London. She notes that children were given greater freedom by their parents and how the playground and playworkers had a stabilising influence on them. In the final piece, she comments on the importance of such places and how they are now being neglected by urban planners.

Read article part 3 / part 4 

How should we approach children’s participation? - Child in the City (Karine van ’t Land)

A two-part reflection of children’s participation in urban planning. This was a key theme of the 2017 Child in the City conference in Rotterdam. It was stated that children needed to be engaged in the debate and that their voices needed to be heard regarding urban planning. These articles reflect on the different approaches presented regarding providing the most effective support to children and their communities.

Read article part 1 / part 2 

Study finds physical activity outside of school is vital for child health - University of Bristol

According to new research from the University of Bristol, children who undertake activity outside of school are more likely to meet the UK Government’s physical activity guidelines. Along with structured activities, researchers found that playing at home or in the neighbourhood after school also helped children meet the public health guidance.

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More parents are raising children without gender roles - Market Watch (Kari Paul)

A new survey from international marketing firm, Havas, found that more parents are choosing to raise their children in a more gender-neutral way. 12, 000 people across 32 countries were surveyed with 61 percent of women and 46 percent of men believing that children should be raised in as gender neutral a way as possible to avoid rigid gender restrictions. This has meant that mainstream retailers have started to reshape their perspective on gendered items for children.

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Why limiting kids screen time is key to their personal development - Belfast Telegraph (Lisa Salmon)

Too much time behind the screen is hindering children’s emotional intelligence development according to psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer, founder of Fundamentally Children. She suggests twelve ways to help improve children’s emotional development that includes a ‘healthy balanced diet’ of play and entertainment.

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Children learn language best at play - Straits Times (Dr Rebecca Chan)

According to Dr Rebecca Chan, a lecturer on early childhood education in Singapore, children’s speaking and listening skills develop when they are given the chance to play. Their skills advance in the negotiating, reasoning and explaining their play intentions to others while adults can then extend their language skills by rephrasing and correcting grammar structure.

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