It is a disappointing thing to see new playgrounds developed in city spaces sit there empty each day, or to walk in the park and hear no laughter. What is missing here is not the children per se, but materials and environments that create challenge, imagination, and creativity that make children want to play outdoors. The absence of such play environments is not only influencing the quantity and quality of children’s play, but also affecting children’s health and well-being. As adults, we need to support children in learning to enjoy what free play in the outdoors has to offer. We need to inspire imaginations, creative minds, and capable bodies. To do this, we can look toward two simple things: nature and adventure.
Many within the UK’s street play movement want to see long-term changes to the design of residential streets, but know they need to marshall the evidence to support their case. Professional architect and Playing Out activist, Helen Forman is well qualified to do just that. In this blog from the Playing Out website, she talks about her new literature review of this area, Residential Street Design and Play, and what inspired her to undertake it. Full blog
The Scottish Parliament has debated the country’s first Play Charter, developed and promoted by Play Scotland, the national play charity. Adrian Voce reports.
A motion to support Scotland’s first Play Charter, developed by Play Scotland, was debated in the Scottish Parliament on 14 March 2017. It was proposed by Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), Ruth Maguire of the Scottish National Party (SNP). Full blog here
You can read full transcript from Scotland’s Play Charter Debate held at the Scottish Parliament on 14 March here
(you will find this at the bottom of the page)
At a time of increasing debate over the extent of children’s use of screen-based technology, for many child professionals, the three-dimensional, messy enjoyment of children making things with their hands from pieces of scrap is more important then ever. Here, Ben Tawil, a senior lecturer in play and playwork, talks about the timeless pleasures and many benefits of junk modelling and non-directive play.
I feel like I grew up on junk modelling; it was the go-to activity for just about every club I ever attended in my early years and primary school days. Full blog
I’ve got only a few minutes left to spare before I have to leave the house for an appointment and the phone rings. I hesitate before picking it up. There is a lady on the line. “Maybe you can help me,” she says in a sweet voice. “You see, I have this three-year-old little boy that is attending preschool for the first time. The teacher just informed me that he isn’t the ‘perfect fit.’ They say he is too active and that’s a problem. Is there something wrong with him?” Full blog
“Mummy, can I have that? I NEEEDDDDD it.” The banshee cry all parents dread when their child clocks a shop window or that hypnotic advert pops up yet again. The answer, of course, is no. That is not until birthdays, Christmas, they’ve done something good or you need (ahem) to bribe them. At which point, parents show just as much interest in what these toys promise as children. Full blog here
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is truly inspiring document which sets out what society expects and demands for its children. But it was adopted well before today’s digital environment could be anticipated. Since rights apply online as well as offline, it’s now time to rethink how society can support – and not infringe – children’s rights in today’s fast-changing digital environment. Full blog
It started when my son was only a few months old. I had taken him downtown with me, for my weekly therapy session with the social worker I was seeing for postpartum depression counseling. There was a chill in the air, and I worried that his little cotton pants would ride up and expose his legs while I wore him, so I decided to put on his sister’s old baby leg warmers. Full blog
The response to the recent air pollution alerts in London alarmed many of us who champion children’s right to play in the UK, writes Marguerite Hunter Blair, Chief Executive of Play Scotland. Here she looks at the impact of environmental pollution on children’s play, and responses to it – both internationally and in Scotland.
The impact of these extreme environmental conditions on children’s opportunities and freedom to play outside was clear with children’s play time outside of the classroom cancelled in many schools and parents advised to keep children indoors. Full blog