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Play in the media15-12-2017

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

Too many toys are bad for children's health, study suggests 
The Telegraph (Sarah Knapton) 

Researchers from the University of Toledo, USA have found that children are more creative and have a better play time when they have fewer toys to play with. They observed 36 toddlers in a room for half an hour with either four toys to play with, or 16. When provided with fewer toys, the toddlers were more creative and engaged in deeper play. They found that having fewer toys meant that they were more focused and creative. This isn't the first research to find that children play better with fewer toys. In the 1990s, when German researchers took away all toys from a nursery the children readjusted and their play became more creative and social.  

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The state of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a digital world
Unicef

Unicefs new report on how digital technology is affecting children worldwide identifies both the dangers and opportunities of being online. The report shows the growing economic divide of having access to the internet with three in five African children being offline compared to one in 25 European children. The report also draws attention to a gender divide, showing that globally there are 12 percent more men online than women. The report calls on governments, the digital technology sector and telecom industries to make sure that children are safe and can benefit from the use of the internet.

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Snow 1, Snapchat 0 – and why this result matters
Rethinking Childhood (Tim Gill)

Tim Gill notes that the recent snow fall in the UK hasn’t affected children’s ability to play outside without screens. Instead of blaming parents for the decline in children playing outside, he states that there are various reasons for why this is happening, including the influence of ‘tech giants’ who work to keep us in front of screens for as long as possible. He also states that we need to consider how easy it is for parents to allow their children to play outside, and what exactly is on offer for children when they’re allowed out.

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How much screen time is too much for kids? 
Fix (Caileigh Flannigan) 

As a result of children in the USA spending too much time in front of a screen, the American Academy of Paediatrics has released recommended screen time guidelines. This article provides infographics on the negative effects of screen time on children's health, screen time guidelines and how best to get children away from screens. It also recognises the benefits of appropriate screen usage and offers top tips on healthy digital technology consumption. 

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A log splitting device designed for... children? 
Core77 (Monte Sheppard) 

As part of his research into Integrated Product Design, Monte Sheppard from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia has designed a log splitting device for playground use. The machine is intended to help children engage in risky play. This type of play can allow children to push their boundaries, learn risk management skills and develop balance and coordination skills useful in later life. The product allows several children to rotate a ring and with enough pressure the axe cuts into the log, helping to split it open.  

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More articles 

  • 'Stark' increase in overweight youngsters 
    BBC (Ian Westbrook) 

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  • 7 reasons why this toymaker believes it's good for kids to be bored 
    Netdoctor 

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  • 'I shouldn't have to justify it': Peer pressure keeps kids from walking to school 
    Illawarra Mercury 

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  • Agenda: There is so much to play for when we encourage young children to enjoy the outdoors
    The Herald (Juliet Robertson)

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  • France to ban children from using mobile phones in schools
    Child in the City (Julia Zvobgo)

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