Organisations supporting play and playwork

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Colleagues at organisations across the UK and beyond have made a number of publications and blogs available to support the sector, as well as parents, to provide play opportunities for children.

Please remember that government regulations and guidance vary across the four UK nations.


Welsh Government
Guidance and information for parents, schools, childcare and play settings is being updated regularly as the situation evolves and regulations change. For the latest advice, visit the children and families section of the Welsh Government website.

Play Safety Forum
COVID-19 and Children’s Play – a research paper summarising evidence and factual information to help decision makers responsible for play provision. The authors, Professor David Ball, Tim Gill and Andy Yates, conclude that the benefits of children playing outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic outweigh the risks. The research paper is also supported by the Children’s Play Policy Forum.

International Play Association
IPA Play in Crisis – resources developed to help parents and carers support children’s right to play. Topics in the resources include the importance of playing in times of crisis and how to respond to children’s play needs. 

Policy@Manchester Blogs
Prioritising play to promote wellbeing – a blog post which considers the important role of children’s play during lockdown in promoting positive mental health. Co-written by Cathy Atkinson, Senior Lecturer in Educational and Child Psychology at The University of Manchester and Play Wales’ Assistant Director, Marianne Mannello, it also explores the ways schools can promote play when they reopen.

Play England
Play after lockdown – a briefing paper to support practitioners to reintroduce opportunities for children’s play, once the restrictions relating to coronavirus are lifted. With an introduction written by Bob Hughes, it provides simple guidelines for play provision providers.

PlayBoard Northern Ireland
Fostering resilience through play – a resource which provides information on the benefits of outdoor play, the role of adults in children’s play and examples of rich play environments. The resource also explores how play can support children’s mental health.

Play Scotland
Home play pack – a resource to support children and families to play and learn at home. It includes information about the importance of play and ideas for playing at home.

Active Play Games – a resource full of play ideas and games to support children’s physical activity.

Indoor Play Ideas – a resource full of ideas that can be made using items from around the house.

Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs
Playworking after Covid-19 – a special issue of Y Bont magazine to support childcare settings to provide play opportunities for children whilst following the Welsh Government Protective Measures for Childcare guidance.

Play First
Play First: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing During and After Lockdownin a letter to key ministers, child mental health experts urge governments to prioritise play when schools reopen. The experts’ evidence-based recommendations focus on the importance of giving children opportunities to play to support their social and emotional well-being.

Researching relationships and everyday geographies
Improving safe access to street space for children’s play and physical activitya briefing paper exploring the evidence for families with children to be allowed greater access to very local neighbourhood space. Proposed changes suggested by the authors, Professor Alison Stenning and Dr Wendy Russell, would allow children to play safely within physical distancing rules.


Several organisations are busy conducting research into the effects of Covid-19 on children’s lives – some findings have already started to be analysed and published.

Children’s Commissioner for Wales
Coronavirus and Me – a report of findings from a survey completed by 23,700 children and teenagers aged 3 to 18 in Wales. The research shows that 53 percent of children aged 7 to 11 are playing more, including outdoors. The results for those aged 12 to 18 show that 61 percent are playing and relaxing more since being at home.

HAPPEN at home – early findings from a Health & Attainment of Pupils in a Primary Education Network (HAPPEN) survey which show that children are currently being more active and feel safer in their local areas. So far, the results show that children are having a positive experience in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, which may be because they have more free time to play and be active with their families according to the researchers.


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