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Play in the media20-10-2017

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

What's a conker? Experts call for children to reconnect with traditional outdoor games
Herald Scotland (Karin Goodwin)

Experts are calling on parents, teachers and decision-makers to encourage children to spend less time inside in front of a screen and more time outside playing traditional games. Statistics by Glasgow Caledonian University (on behalf of Playday) show that fewer children play outside in 2017 than in 1987. One of the effects of this is that traditional games – which are easy and cheap for everyone – are being forgotten. This article goes on to explain the history of the game of conkers and which other games can be played outside in Autumn.

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Don’t tell children to ‘sit still’ – They will end up as fat couch potatoes
The Telegraph (Laura Donnelly)

A report by MPs and Peers warns that we need to stop telling children to sit still. The report states that children today have less time playing outside than is legal for prisoners, which is less than an hour a day. The UK Government is being called on to re-write its childhood obesity strategy to include promoting physical exercise. They are calling on schools to include physical exercise in the classroom and are applauding the ‘daily mile’ initiative.

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We must act now to save our parks, playgrounds and green spaces, says Association of Play Industries
API

New research from Fields in Trust (FIT) shows a clear connection between parks and green spaces and health and wellbeing. This research coincided with the government announcing the creation of the Parks Action Group, which is exploring options to ensure that parks and green spaces in England are protected. The Association of Play Industries has released a report announcing a startling decline in playground provision and is calling on an investment of £100,000 to reinstate playgrounds in England and to ensure that children have access to free play and activity.

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Kids need trees, not devices
The Advisor (Kara Jung)

According to a three-year research study by VicHealth, La Trobe University and the Parenting Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, 48 percent of parents are afraid of ‘stranger danger’. This fear prevents parents from allowing children to be outside by themselves despite data showing that cases of kidnapping and accidents have remained the same over 30 years. Also, nearly 30 percent of children’s free time is spent in front of a screen which means that nature is becoming more foreign to children. Richard Louv, author of Last child in the woods, suggests that a deficit of playing outside could lead to mental health problems.

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Unstructured play is VITAL for kids (so stop entertaining them!)
HerFamily (Trine Jensen-Burke)

In this blog post, Trine Jensen-Burle lists reasons why unstructured play is healthy for children. She wants parents to facilitate unstructured playtime without parental intervention and rules. The reasons include: unstructured play is good for brain development, it teaches children to have positive interactions with others and it helps children to concentrate in school.

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Viva La Playvolución!
Medium (Mayaan Bar-Yam)

In his book, Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga argues that play leads to children understanding how to live within the rules of society. In this article, Mayaan Bar-Yam extends on this theory to suggest that play is important because it’s outside of society’s normal rules. Children play within the rules of the game but also understand that these rules can easily change, whereas for adults, social norms can’t change and are a fundamental part of the reality of life. He suggests that adults need to learn from children’s play that social norms can change.

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Make no mistake, play is crucial, experts say
The Philadelphia Tribune

According to a report by The Genius of Play, a national movement in the USA to raise awareness about the importance of play for children, parents need to understand how important play is for children’s development. Parenting expert Dana Points says that children are playing less than ever before and that playing is important for developing social, emotional and cognitive skills. The article gives suggestions on how to help children get the most out of play.

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Top award for nursery where kids make toys with tools
STV news

A nursery that uses tools as toys has been named the best in the UK. Dandelion Education in Norfolk, which won the award, allows children to play with tools, under adult supervision, to create their own toys. One of the managers said that this allows children aged two to eight to think creatively and to develop their problem-solving skills.

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