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Play in the media


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

Outdoor play boosts children’s performance in class, says new study

Child in the City (Monica Arkin)

A recent study from Norway has found a link between the extent of children’s outdoor play and their development at school. Monica Arkin of Child Trends discusses the significance of these findings. She suggests that outdoor play time shouldn’t be seen as a luxury but rather, should be considered essential for a child’s development.

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How to keep hold of children’s freedom into the winter

Playing Out (Ingrid Skeel)

Listed here are seven tips for more freedom for children to be outdoors coming from author Ingrid Skeels’ own experience of raising children in inner-city Bristol. The list focuses on how to get the most out of playing outside during the winter months. She suggests using the time straight after school to be outside, using parks and green spaces nearby and starting formal playing out sessions, among other tips.

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How Salford's play streets saved children's lives

Manchester Evening News (Neal Keeling)

Due to more traffic in the Manchester area in the beginning of the 20th century it was increasingly difficult for children to play on the streets. The city’s first Chief Constable, Major Cedric Valentine Godfrey brought the concept of street closures for play from the USA and by the 1950s the idea had spread all over the UK. This article looks at the effects of street closures for play in Salford and its revival in recent years.

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A disconnect between advocacy and provision for play

Child in the City (Robin Sutcliffe)

In the first of a two-part essay, Robin Sutcliffe expresses frustration about the gap between theory and practice in play provision and that the ‘movers and shakers’ of the play world need to do more to turn aspiration into reality. He suggests that the play world needs to look at how be more connected with those who deliver play provision.

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When Adult Perceptions of Risk Result in Real Bans on Children’s Play

Child and Nature Alliance (Marlene Power)

After the 2017 International Play Association (IPA) conference in Calgary, Marlene Power is calling on school boards in Canada to question the impact of bans that limit children’s opportunity and right to play. In Canada, a school has developed a ‘handbook of playground rules for the 2017-18 school year’. She suggests that people who encroach on children’s play opportunities should educate themselves on Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

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How to avoid becoming a ‘fair-weather family’ 

Irish Times (Sheila Wayman)

Dr Sumi Dunne, a GP in Co Louis, Ireland and states that there is no reason that children can’t be outdoors in winter. She advises that children ‘get outside and moving’ in any weather as being outside is less of a health risk then ‘keeping them cooped up’. This article covers a range of parents’ experiences with playing out in all weather and lists ‘Seven ways to get the family outdoors’.

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Tips for creating your own day of play

Chicago Tribune

Play advocate, author and blogger, Meredith Sinclair suggests that we should stop overscheduling children’s lives and instead ‘schedule time for spontaneity’ and creating space that encourages play. To create effective and imaginative play opportunity she suggests that spaces can be filled with loose parts materials to encourage children to direct their own play.

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‘Junkyard Playgrounds’ Are a Thing Now: No Parents Allowed, And Kids Are Having A Blast

Clint Edwards

This blog post discusses the surge in adventure playgrounds in the USA that use loose play material or ‘junk’ instead of traditional playground items. These playgrounds give children the opportunity to ‘build and destroy, to use tools with little supervision’. The blog acknowledges how little opportunity children have today to be able go on an adventure without constant parental supervision and is impressed by how these playgrounds don’t allow adults to enter and disrupt the play.

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