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Across Wales practitioners are working in various ways to continue to support children during the coronavirus pandemic. There was little time to prepare and plan for this, but we all want to continue to support children to play during this time of uncertainty.

The following practical resources aim to help practitioners who work with children and their families in various settings:

Outdoor play

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.

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Playwork

Top tips: Playworking and coronavirus
Some playworkers may not be working face-to-face with children at this time but there are lots of practical and useful ways to continue supporting children and advocating for play – from keeping in touch with families, to thinking about available resources, to catching up with some continuing professional development.

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Schools

Top tips: Play, schools and coronvirus
School staff, childcare providers and playworkers are working hard to care for a number of vulnerable children or those of critical workers. These suggestions aim to help staff and the children in their care to support play during times of stress.

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Focus on play: Reopening schools prioritising play
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.

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Play and well-being

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’.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Continuing Professional Development

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: 


More videos on other aspects of playwork to follow.

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.

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.

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Play in the media
Since the beginning of the pandemic in the UK we have put together a number of ‘play in the media’ listings which include links to articles and blogs about play that have been published online. These listings, which provide opportunities for further reading, are available in the News section of the website.

Storybooks

Fun in the garden
Fun in the garden is our latest storybook about children’s right to play. It’s a bilingual book for primary school children and parents, supporting children to make sure they have the right to play and for parents to advocate for local play. It is also a useful resource to support those working with children and families.

Play Wales worked with a storyteller, cartoonist, year 6 children at Charles Williams Primary School in Caerleon and Petra Publishing to produce the storybook.

Anyone who lives or works in Wales – and is signed up to our mailing list – can order free a copy. If you would like to receive a copy in the post, email us with your details, including a postal address.

Fun in the dungeon
To support parents and carers we have also made our original storybook – Fun in the dungeon – available for all to read online for a limited time. We want more children and families in Wales and further afield to be able to enjoy the story. It’s also a useful resource for a storytelling session in a range of settings.

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