September Updates

Welcome to our September updates blog! If you would like to receive our quarterly updates direct to your mailbox, you can subscribe to our newsletter here:

Stay Play and Learn Roadshow

As part of the Get into Summer program, we partnered with Early Years Scotland to run outdoor play and learning sessions for families with children aged 0-5 in Glasgow and Dumfries and Galloway. The sessions are now finished for the year but we wanted to share the incredible number of families who came along!

1522 families, 1797 adults, 1945 children

Ministerial Visit on Play Day

We were delighted to have Clare Haughey MSP the Minister for Children and Young People visit a Stay, Play, and Learn session as part of our Play Day celebrations.

Click the video below to hear the Minister’s speech and a bit more about the project.

Play Well Outdoors Pack

Working with Save the Children and the Beano we have designed a bumper pack filled with loads of ideas on how to play and have fun outdoors.

So far we have given out 20,314 packs to children across Scotland!

We still have lots left so if you would like to bulk order packs for your setting, please email

We are hiring!

We are looking for a Digital Membership and Services Officer.
We are looking for someone creative, enthusiastic and skilled in communications to join our fantastic team!
The salary is £27,828 pro-rata for 20 hours per week.
Closing date 12 noon on Thursday 16th September 2021.

Click here to download the job description and apply.

Moths to a Flame

We are running Moths to a Flame workshops to help children engage in the COP26 conference.
The workshop involves setting up a moth trap, identifying moths, and creating recycled art of moths to be displayed at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens during the conference.

We are currently taking bookings from schools, groups, and settings in central Edinburgh. If you are interested in hosting this workshop in your setting, please email

The Play Well Podcast

We are very excited to announce the launch of The Play Well Podcast!
We will be releasing episodes monthly and each episode will cover a different theme in relation to play.
Listen and subscribe here:


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Moths to a Flame Art Workshop for COP26

We are very excited to be delivering Moths to a Flame workshops for children across Scotland as part of Get Into Summer and The Summer Of Play. 

The Moths to a Flame project helps children and young people engage in the call for urgent action on the Climate Emergency into a magnificent mass-participation art installation at COP26, Glasgow 2021 made of 20,000 moths.

Moths to a Flame is a project organised by Art and Energy – an England based charity. Play Scotland is delivering this project across Scotland.

We are currently looking for settings, groups, and schools in central Edinburgh to run these workshops in. If you would like to host a workshop, then please email

You can find out more about the workshops here: Moth Workshop Info for Settings or watch the video below about the project.



Parks for People: why should we invest in parks?

Evidence from the Parks for People programme and six case studies uncovers the importance of our parks and how we can support them in future.

Parks for People was a programme offered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund launched in 2006. It aimed to revitalise historic parks and cemeteries in the UK. It supported a total of 135 projects through £254million of funding.

The Parks for People report is an evaluation of the programme which provides clear evidence for the value of investing in parks. It highlights the multiple social benefits that can be achieved by investing in public parks and in the people who bring those parks to life. It can be used to support decision-making about parks investment and to support development of new practices and policy for parks management.

Full report here



Play Scotland Digital Membership and Services Officer

Come and work with us!  Play Scotland are recruiting a Digital Membership and Services Officer.  They will take responsibility for the membership journey and implement an engagement plan and comprehensive membership growth strategy online.

They will be a key member of a small team, organising events and providing digital support to ensure consistent messaging and branding.

We are looking for someone creative, enthusiastic and skilled in communications. If you think this could be for you, please download an application form from below and email the completed version to by 4pm on Friday 9th July.

Proposed Interview Date: 16th July 2021 in person or online to be confirme

Application for employment



Glasgow chosen as host city for 2023 International Play Association World Congress

The International Play Association (IPA) has chosen Glasgow as the location of its 2023 World Congress. The event, which will be held at Glasgow Caledonian University, will attract up to 700 delegates from over 50 countries around the world, worth over £1m to the city’s economy. Former hosts of this prestigious congress include Calgary and Istanbul.

The IPA aims to protect, preserve and promote children’s right to play as a fundamental human right. The meeting will bring delegates from all professions concerned with the wellbeing of children together in Glasgow to exchange ideas and inspire action.

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “May I congratulate the successful bid team in their efforts to attract the International Play Association Word Congress to our city in 2023. IPA’s mission resonates with our vision for the young people of our city; to respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life. The pandemic has been tough for our young people, so we salute the excellent work of IPA Scotland and the wider bid team in involving Glasgow in the inspiring work of the association in promoting the child’s right to play.”

Glasgow has a long-standing commitment to play and launched its own play strategy in 2011. Investing in the opportunity for children to play and develop through that play is crucial in IPA Scotland’s drive to change and improve life for all.

Margaret Westwood, Chair of the International Play Association Scotland commented: “IPA Scotland and our amazing conference partners are honoured and delighted to be bringing the 22nd IPA Triennial World Conference to Glasgow in 2023 where we will be celebrating Play: Rights & Possibilities. The right to play is so important for all children globally, and we will be sharing Scotland’s experience and learning from others from all over the world. IPA Scotland are indebted to Glasgow Convention Bureau for their invaluable support in planning our bid for this conference, which promises to be innovative, green, inclusive and famously friendly!”

The work of the IPA has not stopped during the pandemic, with the Access to Play in Crisis work having world-wide recognition. The 2023 world congress will be an opportunity to reflect on what has been learned and what can still be learned as a result of Covid-19.

Clare Haughey, Scottish Minister for Children and Young People said: “I am pleased that Scotland will be hosting the 2023 IPA conference in Glasgow. We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up and providing play opportunities to all children and families is vital to this. The Scottish Government’s recent £60 million commitment to renew play parks in Scotland is just one example of our support for play, and we look forward to sharing our passion for play with the rest of the world.”

Professor John McKendrick, Professor in Social Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University added: “Glasgow is a city of innovation. It has been a world leader in maritime commerce and engineering. When we think of ‘Clydebuilt’, we think of quality. The new Glasgow City Region Deal is set to fashion a new future for work in the city and surrounding area. But successful cities are more than prosperous economies, they need to meet all the needs of citizens. They need to allow children to flourish through play. As the ‘University for the common good’, Glasgow Caledonian University is proud to host this international conference, bringing together the latest local, national and global thinking on how to facilitate play and enrich the lives of children, families, communities and cities.”



National Children’s Day UK 2021

Sunday 16th May

National Children’s Day UK (NCDUK) is all about the importance of a healthy childhood and how we need to protect the rights and freedoms of children and young people in order to ensure that they can become happy, caring and connected adults. From family videos to school and community events, local authority initiatives, talks, seminars and youth led campaigns, it’s a great opportunity for everyone to raise national awareness about the things they care about – and especially about the impact of COVID on children and young people.



New Playful Pedagogy Resource from Play Scotland to support everyday learning adventures across the school

Playful Pedagogy is a way of integrating children’s play experiences with curricular learning, giving pupils the flexibility to find their own solutions to both new and existing problems. It engages children in personally meaningful activities, learning about themselves and others, and encourages autonomy and their independent motivation-to-learn.

This resource is for Headteachers, teachers and schools who wish to carry forward this vision of best practice and to teach better, develop their professional skills, and enjoy themselves more along the way.



First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcement

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced,

“We want to help children enjoy these summer holidays a bit more. We also know the clinical risks of Covid, particularly for younger children, appear to be relatively low although we will never be complacent about that. And we know that for as long as there are restrictions on the number of households we can meet, families will find it difficult to balance the social needs for children and adults. Understandably, you all don’t want to see the same people everyday.

Bearing that in mind, I’m announcing today two further changes to our rules to allow for a bit more interaction between young people and these changes will both apply from tomorrow. For children who are 11 years old or under, we’re removing the requirement for you to physically distance with other people when you’re outdoors. That will allow you to play more normally with your friends, which I hope you will enjoy. I’m sure this move will also be appreciated by your parents and carers.

However, other rules will remain the same for the next wee while. You should continue to meet in groups of 8 or less and to meet no more than 2 other households at a time. Adults who are with you should continue to observe physical distancing from each other and physical distancing even for you as children, is still advised indoors.

Our guidance is different for children aged 12-17, we’re not yet relaxing the physical distancing rule for you, and I’m saying more about that shortly. But we know that you don’t want to be limited by who your parents can meet, you want to have your own lives and meet your own friends. So when you meet other people, we are still asking you to do that outdoors, and you should still stick to a limit of 8 people from no more than three households at any one time. However, we will lift the number, the limit on the number of meetings you can have in one day. That means you can meet different groups of friends, at different times of the day, and also importantly it won’t mean you won’t be prevented meeting your friends just because your parents or carers or your brother or sisters happens to be meeting their friends. As I said for now we’re asking older children to still keep 2 metres distant from people in other households, even outdoors. I know that the advice we published today suggests that this is less important for young people, so we do hope that this will change in the weeks to come, but initially and for your safety, we want to act cautiously.

Now these changes are careful but important steps that I hope will make life just a little bit easier and also perhaps a little bit more fun for children and young people. I hope next week to set out more changes, not just for children, but for adults as well, to how households can meet, interact and play, and I also hope to confirm at that stage, that organised outdoor contact sports for children can resume from the 13th of July.

However I hope these changes, do allow you as children and young people a bit more freedom in meeting up with your friends, and I hope they allow you to make a bit more of the summer holidays, even if as will probably be the case in Scotland, it’s raining for much of the time.”

Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister of Scotland

2nd July 2020



IPA Play in Crisis: support for parents and carers

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on children and families around the world. In order to support the child’s right to play in these difficult times, the International Play Association (IPA) has developed the new IPA Play in Crisis: support for parents and carers resource.

Each page of the resource provides parents and carers with information and ideas so they can support their child’s play. There are topics such as the importance of playing in crisis, and how to respond to children’s play needs, through to issues that parents may be concerned about, like children playing with difficult themes of loss, death and loneliness.

The International Play Association recognises playing as a basic and vital part of the pleasure of childhood. It is as an essential part of all aspects of children’s development. During crisis, play has a significant therapeutic role, helping children recover a sense of normality and joy.