For children playing is one of the most important aspects of their lives.
Playing is central to children’s physical, mental, social and emotional health and wellbeing. Through play, children develop resilience and flexibility, contributing to physical and emotional wellbeing. Playing is important to all children no matter what their impairments or behaviour.
Children also have a right to play as part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Convention a list of all the rights children and young people everywhere in the world have.
As adults we have a responsibility to provide time, space and freedom for children to play. The summer holiday is a great opportunity to provide outdoor play opportunities for our children.
Top tips – make time for play
We are advocating a low cost approach to making the most of children’s free time – give them time to play. Playing with friends brings a whole host of positive benefits to children - so do we really need to break the bank to fill their lives with other activities? Children say they want more time and good places to play outside with their friends.
Tips for supporting children to play out confidently
We all have a responsibility to support and prepare our children to play out confidently in their community. To encourage parents and carers and local communities to support children playing out confidently these top tips may help.
Top tips – screen time and digital play
Many of us struggle with finding a solution to the challenges around screen time and how to support children and young people to access and interact with it in a way that is beneficial and balanced. As adults we have an important role to play in supporting children in a digitalised world. We developed these top tips to support a balanced approach to screen time and digital play.
Why playing matters and what we can all do about it – explores the importance of playing outside and contact with nature for all children and their families and it provides tips for supporting children to play out confidently.
Play and early years: birth to seven years – explores what is play and its importance to and for children’s development in the early years (birth to seven years old). It also explores the importance of adult roles, advocacy and the child’s right to play.
Promoting physical activity through outdoor play in early years settings - explores how playing contributes to children’s physical activity levels and how early years practitioners can provide permission, time and space, as well as making materials available, for children to play outdoors. It also provides practical advice on thinking sensibly about health and safety.
Play: health and wellbeing – provides information on why playing is crucial to children's health and wellbeing and explores ways to respond to children's need for more time and space for free play.
Play: mental health and wellbeing – briefly explains the importance of playing for brain development and mental health as well as exploring how playing contributes to children’s emotional wellbeing.
What’s happening in your area
There are places and opportunities to play across north Wales over the summer holidays - find out what's happening in your area:
Playday is the annual UK celebration of children’s right to play. We are calling on you to join us to celebrate that:
- Playing is free
- Playing is a child’s right
- Playing is inclusive
- Playing supports physical and emotional health and wellbeing
- Playing support respect and appreciation of the natural environment
- Playing promotes development and learning.
Throughout Wales and the rest of the UK thousands of children and their families will go out to play at locally organised events – from small scale garden parties to large scale events in parks and town centres.
Right to play
These resources support children to learn about their rights as part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Article 31 of the Convention says that all children have the right to play. The resources can be printed and shared with children and their families.
Right to play postcard
Right to play - for colouring in
Right to play A4 poster
Right to play A3 poster