Written by Marianne Mannello, Assistant Director of Play Wales
Having the chance to play is an important part of a happy and healthy childhood for every child. Playing is fun and has always been part how children learn and grow. It is one of the most important parts of their lives – children value having time, space, and support to play at home and in their local community.
Play Wales is the national charity for children’s play in Wales.
We champion every child’s need and right to play. We focus on three key areas:
- Raising awareness – We work to raise awareness of children and teenagers’ need and right to play.
- Promoting good practice – We promote good practice at every level of decision making. We also promote good practice wherever children might play.
- Providing advice and guidance across all sectors – We provide advice and guidance that supports everyone who has an interest in, or responsibility for, providing for children’s play.
Children tell us they want more opportunities to play outside with their friends. Playing is a crucial part of a healthy and happy childhood. As adults, it’s our responsibility to make sure this happens.
Playful Childhoods is a Play Wales campaign that aims to help parents and community groups to provide more opportunities for children to play at home and in their neighbourhoods. Playful Childhoods has been created to support:
- Parents in giving their children opportunities to play.
- Parents so they feel confident about letting their children play outside in the community.
- The development of playful communities for children across Wales.
- A shared understanding of the importance of play for children and teenagers by all adults across Wales.
A central part of the campaign is the Playful Childhoods website.
The website provides information for parents and carers, as well as community groups.
Parents and carers are important supporters of play for children – no matter how old they are. Whether your child is playing peek-a-boo, jumping in puddles, or starting to want to venture out on their own with friends, the Playful Parenting section of the website provides helpful reminders and ideas, as well as tips about play for all children.
Groups such as residents associations, Parent Teacher Associations in schools and town and community councils all have an important part to play. Groups like these can support by organising outdoor events or campaigning for children’s play areas and by helping to promote changes in attitudes and practices. The Playful Communities section of the website contains a range of information and tips to help groups to consider children’s play in their community.