To increase awareness of the importance of play to the development and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland.
To ensure that all children and young people in Scotland have equal opportunities to participate in diverse and quality play experiences that meet their individual need.
Children have a right to play and need time, space, permission and opportunities to #playeveryday.
Play is vital for children’s health, wellbeing and happiness.
Formed in 1998 to support the Child’s Right to Play and make children’s play rights a reality in Scotland.
Play Scotland’s work is underpinned by Article 31 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UNCRC General Comment No17 (Article 31) which articulates the “the need to create time and space for children to engage in spontaneous play, recreation and creativity, and to promote societal attitudes that support and encourage such activity.”
For a child friendly copy of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child click here.
We work with in partnership with many organisations, in communities, schools, early years settings and public bodies to share best practice and support research to promote better understanding of the importance of play.
Priorities for Play Scotland
- Delivering the National Play Strategy Vision and Action Plan
Play Strategy Vision
We want Scotland to be best place to grow up. A nation which values play as a life-enhancing daily experience for all our children and young people; in their homes, nurseries, schools and communities.
Scotland’s Play Strategy seeks to improve the play experiences of all children and young people, including those with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds. It aims to ensure all children and young people can access play opportunities in a range of settings which offer variety, adventure and challenge.
All children must be able to play freely and safely while learning to manage risks and make choices about where, how and when they play according to their age, stage, ability and preference.
- Political lobbying to embed play in strategic planning across Scotland, and make the case for a statutory duty for play.
- Developing strategic resources to support parents and families, play providers, community planning.
- Workforce development of the playwork sector, the children’s services workforce and other professionals whose strategic decision making impacts on play.
- Research into play in Scotland (space to play, time to play, funding for play), building robust evidence in order for improvements to be delivered.
What is the Problem?
Lack of Play Space and Mobility
Childhood Obesity, Mental Health Problems and Bullying
Young People Unable to Assess and Manage Risk
Young People with Poor Social Skills and lack of Ability to handle Conflict and Cultural Difference
Play is Part of the Solution
The benefits to children and young people and the community from a strategic approach to play are profound. Children will:
- Enjoy better physical, emotional and mental health
- Develop social skills and responsibility
- Appreciate the environment
- Understand risk and challenge
- Grow identity and self esteem
- Participate in sports, arts and culture
- Be less likely to offend and engage in anti-social behaviour
Play Scotland Aims
- Delivering on the action plans of Scotland’s National Play Strategy
- A Regional Infrastructure to grow and support the Play Sector throughout Scotland
- Support develop and resource opportunities for Play in Scotland
- Lead contributor in the Professional Development of Play and the Play Workforce in Scotland
- Initiate and increase research and academic based information on the benefits of Play, including Free Play, Risk management, Challenges, Play-Friendly Community Spaces
- Administer and Support Scotland’s play Charter
Play Scotland Objectives
- Promote Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child- the Child`s right to Play
- Work with Scottish Government to ensure that Play is prioritised within Local Authority Planning
- Work with Strategic Partners to deliver good quality Play opportunities in diverse settings for all children and young people in Scotland
- Promote local Play Associations and build clusters, networks and forums to sustain “free play opportunities”
- Promote equity, inclusion and diversity in Play provision
- Provide continuous professional development opportunities for Playworkers
- Work with relevant Sector Skills Councils to ensure Employers needs are met in the Play Sector
- Promote research which demonstrates the benefits of Play
- Commission research into Play Provision in Scotland