The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders

7 September, 2017
Categories: Blog

Rates of depression and anxiety among young people in America have been increasing steadily for the past 50 to 70 years. Today, by at least some estimates, five to eight times as many high school and college students meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depression and/or anxiety disorder as was true half a century or more ago. This increased psychopathology is not the result of changed diagnostic criteria; it holds even when the measures and criteria are constant.  Full blog


Are smart phones really the death of children’s play?

29 August, 2017
Categories: Blog

Many of the current conversations on children’s use of mobile phones sound dire warnings, even foretelling the ‘death of childhood’ itself. However, argues playworker and geographer Chris Martin, different standpoints can contribute alternative, more complex perspectives, suggesting that children’s play may be as rich in the technological age as it ever was.  Full blog


Children’s play is not a springboard, it is the water.

29 August, 2017
Categories: Blog

In this second part of his comment piece about a national project to ‘use play as a springboard into sport’, Adrian Voce suggests that policymakers would serve children better, including the desired aim of increasing their activity levels, by investing in adventure playgrounds on their own terms and committing to a long-term vision for a child friendly public realm.  Full blog


For children, playing is the adventure

29 August, 2017
Categories: Blog

A new pilot project in England, funded by the government sponsored national sports agency, aims to use ‘play as a springboard into sport’. In this first of a two-part blog, Adrian Voce explains why such support is a mixed blessing.  Full blog



Primary schools invite P1 children and parents to Stay Play and Learn

15 August, 2017
Categories: Blog

A unique new service which focuses on closing the attainment gap and aims to help improve the transition between nursery and school, will be introduced in 28 primary schools in Glasgow this autumn.

The ‘P1 Stay Play and Learn’ service run by Scotland’s leading specialist early years organisation, Early Years Scotland, will offer parents the opportunity to attend shared play and learning experiences to support their children before, when starting, and during Primary 1.  Full blog


Why kids need risk, fear and excitement in play

14 August, 2017
Categories: Blog

Be careful!” “Not so high!” “Stop that!”

Concerned parents can often be heard urging safety when children are at play. Recent research suggests this may be over-protective and that kids need more opportunities for risky play outdoors.

Risky play is thrilling and exciting play where children test their boundaries and flirt with uncertainty. They climb trees, build forts, roam the neighbourhood with friends or play capture the flag. Research shows such play is associated with increased physical activity, social skills, risk management skills, resilience and self-confidence. These findings make intuitive sense when you watch children at play.  Full blog



Unstructured play is critical for kids + their brain development—so set them free

9 August, 2017
Categories: Blog

Unstructured play is play without predetermined rules of the game. There are no organized teams, uniforms, coaches or trainers. It is spontaneous, often made-up on the spot, and changeable as the day goes on. It is the kind of play you see when puppies chase each other around a yard in endless circles or a group of kids play for hours in a fort they created out of old packing boxes.  Full blog


Want to be a great parent? Let your children be bored

8 August, 2017
Categories: Blog

From books, arts and sports classes to iPads and television, many parents do everything in their power to entertain and educate their children. But what would happen if children were just left to be bored from time to time? How would it affect their development?  Full blog


Reflections on 30 years of Playday from Play Scotland’s CEO Marguerite Hunter Blair

2 August, 2017
Categories: Blog

Playday is always a fantastic opportunity for families and children to have fun on their doorstep come rain, hail or shine. I have been involved with Playday for many years, from street play events around Community Centres in Belfast in the 80’s and 90’s to massive Playboard NI events at Oxford Island on the shores of Lough Neagh in the early noughties.

Full blog: Playday 30th Anniversary Blog from Marguerite Hunter Blair, CEO, Play Scotland