Continuing to support our sector
Practitioners across Wales are continuing to work in different ways to support children’s play during this challenging time. To help practitioners support children’s play we have developed a range of practical resources.
The following have been published since we last shared a summary of new play and playwork resources as part of our response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Focus on play: reopening parks, play areas and open spaces for children’s play
This issue provides information and guidance for parks and open space officers and playground managers. It sets out some of the factors for consideration when decisions are being made regarding which spaces will be available and promoted for play and ensuring sufficiency of play opportunities.
Focus on play: reopening schools
When children return to school, efforts to improve well-being should focus on providing sufficient time and space for play. This issue offers information and guidance for head teachers, teachers and school governors. It considers the crucial role of children’s play in promoting positive mental health and discusses ways schools can promote play when they reopen.
Play for Wales
The ‘play and being well’ issue of the magazine highlights the importance of play during times of uncertainty and stress. The need to provide time, space and permission to play is as important as ever as demonstrated in the articles featured.
Play: mental health and well-being
Playing is central to children’s mental, social and emotional health and well-being. This updated information sheet briefly explains the importance of playing for brain development and mental health. It also explores how playing contributes to children’s emotional well-being and how it relates to the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’.
Play: health and well-being
Playing is important for children’s physical, cognitive and social development. This updated information sheet looks at why playing is crucial to children's health and well-being and explores ways to support good quality play. It also provides information about play and physical activity as well as play and emotional well-being.
Top tips: playing and well-being
Playing contributes to improved well-being during times of uncertainty and it helps children manage their emotions and make sense of their situation. These top tips aim to help parents to support children’s play during times of stress.
A reading list for teachers
Many teachers have been asked to spend some time supporting their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) whilst schools are not operating the usual timetable. To help with this, we put together a list of recommended resources for thinking about play in school. It’s a starting point for reflection and CPD for those with an interest in improving children’s opportunities for playing at school.
Playwork Essentials videos
A series of bite-size introductions to aspects of playwork, which also include links to further resources. The videos, which are available on our 'Play Wales – Playwork' channel on YouTube, explore:
- Playwork Principles 1 and 2
- Risk-benefit assessment
- The theory of loose parts.
More videos on other aspects of playwork will follow in the coming weeks.
The videos have been developed and filmed during the coronavirus pandemic to support playwork learners and anyone who works with children who wants to understand more about using a playwork approach.
For parents and carers
We continue to add new and timely content to the indoor play section of our Playful Childhoods website. These resources may be useful to share with the children and families you work with.
- Playing at home guide – a handy booklet full of play ideas and tips for parents
- 50 indoor play ideas – a list of ideas for all the family to play at home
- Colouring in – a selection of playful cartoons that can be downloaded and printed for colouring in
- Play in crisis – resources for parents and carers developed by the International Play Association.
The Playful Childhoods blog also features a range of new posts:
- Play, creativity and boredom in lockdown – written by Educational Psychologist, Dr Dan O’Hare
- Screen time – for children of all ages
- Games for playing at home – a short video.
Finally, the Chair of Play Wales’ Board of Trustees, Dr Mike Shooter has shared a message with all of our supporters. The message thanks every parent, carer and practitioner for continuing to help children to have fun, to stay connected, to take risks within an envelope of safety, to expand their imagination, and to keep their dreams alive – through play.