For children, play is a fundamental need just like eating, sleeping or drinking. It is an essential part of growing up and enables children to develop skills for life. Yet despite its recognised benefits, play is increasingly under threat. We need to ensure that children have better and more opportunities to play.
Play is making a difference for the children affected by the refugee crisis
Through play, we can help children recapture their childhood and learn the skills they need to recover from trauma. ‘Je Veux Jouer’ (I want to play) is a charity organisation that started out as a theatre production in Canada highlighting the need for children fleeing the Syrian war to have some semblance of a normal childhood. Backed by sponsors in Canada, the charity has spent the last few weeks in the south-east of Turkey, where volunteers have been engaging with some of the younger children through dance classes and theatre groups.Read more ›
How can we make public space more accessible to children?
Exposure to the outside environment is a natural influence that adds a richer dimension to the children play. Play space should, therefore, be more accessible to children. During a process known as ’Urban Design Review’ in Dublin, a group of children participated in a worskshop in which they were asked to share their views on an area in the city of Phibsborough (Ireland).Read more ›
Permission – the key to granting children freedom to play
Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales
Space, time and permission are three interrelated factors that have a significant impact on children’s opportunities to play . But without permission, all the space and time in the world is worthless.Read more ›
Play: Children’s Default Setting
Adrian Voce OBE, Writer and Consultant on children’s play
This edition of the Importance of Play blog series features an excerpt from ’Policy for Play’ by Adrian Voce, expert on children’s play.
While the precise nature of play remains elusive and indefinable, several academic disciplines – from evolutionary biology to developmental and depth psychology and the emergent neurosciences – each agree in their different ways that children’s play is central to who and what we are. It seems clear from these various studies that playing has a vitally important role, both in individual development and in human evolution, but that its primary purpose is simply to be enjoyed. The great play scholar Brian Sutton-Smith famously said, ‘the opposite of play isn’t work, it’s depression’; the act of playing brings about ‘renewed belief in the worthwhileness of merely living’.Read more ›