Getting it Right for Play

“Getting it Right for Play is a timely and practical resource for everyone involved in providing increased quality play opportunities for children and young people in Scotland.  I hope that Local Authorities and Community groups will use this practical toolkit to deliver improved play opportunities for our children and young people as part of our mission to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up”

Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell MSP

Play Scotland published the findings from the Scottish Play Commission in 2008.  A key recommendation was to create a National Play Indicator.

In 2012 Play Scotland was delighted to publish the Getting it Right for Play Toolkit and supporting documents to help Local Authorities in Scotland assess the range and quality of play opportunities and determine how satisfied communities were with their outdoor play spaces.  The Toolkit can be used as a National Indicator if it is used by all local authorities.

“Investing in children’s play is one of the most important things we can do to improve children’s health and  wellbeing in Scotland.”

Sir Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer Scotland

Overview

Play Scotland developed the Getting it Right for Play Toolkit and supporting documents to help local authorities respond to Scottish Government policy and guidance on play, and deliver increased play and physical activity for children in Scotland (Early Years Framework 2008/2010). The purpose of the documents are to inform local authorities of the strong evidence base showing the benefits of play to children and communities, and the wide range of policy and guidance already in place from the Scottish Government, which is not widely known nor acted upon across all departments in local authorities. The Toolkit was produced to help local authorities provide sufficient play opportunities in terms of quantity and quality, and allow them to assess easily if:

  • Local people including children have been meaningfully involved in developing local play opportunities
  • Local attitudes to children are improving
  • Benefits as well as risks are being considered in the design and maintenance of play areas
  • Relevant agencies and departments are working together to promote local play opportunities
  • Children are satisfied with the play opportunities provided

Marguerite Hunter Blair, Chief Executive explained “Play Scotland is delighted to have secured support from the Go Play Fund to develop Getting it Right for Play.  We hope that Local Authorities and Communities will use the Toolkit to develop a local and strategic commitment to play, which will help remove barriers and encourage and support children to play outdoors”.

The importance of play in children’s daily lives and healthy development has become increasingly recognised in recent years. A growing body of evidence supports the view that playing, throughout childhood, is not only an innate behaviour but also contributes to children’s quality of life, their well-being and their physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.  The type of environment for play is also important, having an impact on children’s experience, choices and relationships, both with other people and with the environment itself.

The two supporting documents are:

The Power of Play
The Power of Play is a literature review which presents a strong body of evidence and expert opinion demonstrating the crucial role of play, especially outdoor play, in children’s enjoyment of their childhood, their health and their development.  It also discusses the importance of creating spaces and opportunities where children can play freely in their local neighbourhoods.

The Scottish Play Policy Context
The Children’s Play in Scotland: the policy context, outlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to Play in policy and guidance and acts as a supporting document to the Getting It Right for Play Toolkit

“Developing play spaces and play opportunities for children, and removing barriers to play is a priority in the Early Years Framework. I commend Play Scotland for their work in this area and I recognise the important contribution that Getting it Right for Play can make to improving children’s quality of life through play.”

Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell, MSP

The Documents 

Getting it Right for Play consists of four documents:

Getting it Right for Play Toolkit: A toolkit to assess and improve local play opportunities

All the Indicators and Tools are relevant to Local Authorities.  However, the Children’s Survey and the Quality Assessment Tool can also be used by community groups to help them assess play opportunities and spaces in their local communities.

Getting it Right for Play: The Power of Play: an evidence base

This document provides a comprehensive literature review of the benefits of Play to children and the wider community, and acts as a supporting document to the GIRFP Toolkit.

Getting it Right for Play: The Power of Play: an evidence base summary
Getting it Right for Play: Childrens Play in Scotland: the policy context 

This pdf document outlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to Play in policy and guidance.

Research

In 2011 Play Scotland surveyed a wide range of staff to find out about their experience of facilitating free play and outdoor play.  Their responses demonstrate a firm commitment to children’s play across Scotland from a wide variety of providers.

Play in Staffed Provision: The Scottish Experience

We hope that you find the Getting it Right for Play documents useful and beneficial.

Should you have any queries please contact us at info@playscotland.org

“Most of us carry great memories of playing outside as a child. However we regularly hear in the media and through research about how little time today’s children spend playing outdoors. Outdoor activities that were part of growing up when I was young feature less and less in children’s lives today. The Scottish Government recognises that Play is central to how children learn and develop and how they are motivated to be physically active”.

Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell, MSP