Outdoors spaces particularly natural and wild environments hold a distinct lure for children. The constantly changing, multisensory qualities of these spaces offer children a special way of playing while children’s everyday environments (home, street, neighbourhood, care settings, schools etc.) are of particular significance to them. Promoting play in the heart of communities makes neighbourhoods safer, more vibrant and resilient – more convivial places for everyone.Read more ›
As the school year across Europe comes to an end and children look forward to their annual summer holiday break, it is a good time to review the growing evidence about the significance of play in the domestic arena, with friends and family. In particular, I want to focus on the contribution that play outside of school makes to a child’s education.Read more ›
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 ›
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 ›