“Let’s Talk About Play!” Free Members’ Event


At Play Scotland, we love to talk about play! And, we want to talk about children and young people’s play with our members too.

We’re inviting you to join us on Wednesday 20th April at 6pm for our first ‘Let’s Talk About Play! free members’ session.

Bring a virtual coffee (or any other beverage as it’s after 5pm!) and have blether with us and other members about the world of play.

We’ll start off simple for April’s theme with: What is play?

You can register for the free event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lets-talk-about-play-01-what-is-play-tickets-315261625007


Not a Play Scotland member yet? No problem!  Membership is free and only takes a few minutes to sign up.  For more information visit our membership page and follow the link to sign up online or use this quick form: https://forms.office.com/r/yvu928W38q



Play Scotland at COP26

The climate crisis has a huge impact on children’s right to play and their future. Children across the world repeatedly demonstrate their determination, resourcefulness and creativity in finding opportunities for play, however many of them face significant barriers to do with the environment and the climate crisis.

Detrimental environmental changes are already affecting the overall safety of outdoor play for children. From an increase in adverse asthma symptoms to aggravated reactions from increases in heat for children with sickle cell disease, children’s access to play and a healthy quality of life are faltering.

To properly tackle the climate crisis and to realise the child’s right to play to must listen to children and young people and act on what they say.

  • Children’s Right to Play and the Environment

    Children’s Right to Play and the Environment

    A discussion paper prepared by the International Play Association: Promoting the Child’s Right to Play for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Day of General Discussion, 2016 Children’s Rights and the Environment
    Resource type: Publication
    pdf (103.52 KB)

Moths to a Flame

Play Scotland was delighted to partner with Art & Energy to create a mass participatory art installation for COP26. The exhibition is made up of 15,000 moths made from recycled plastic bottles. The installation is accompanied by a soundscape of poetry, spoken word, calls to action and hope and dreams for the future recorded by children and adults across the UK. 

To create the moths and record the messages, Play Scotland organised workshops with groups of children and young people. Additionally we funded a moth box for the Children’s Wood and created and promoted a pack for teachers to run the workshop with their students. 


The exhibition will be open and free to the public at Glasgow Botanic Gardens every day of COP26 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm – last admission will be at 3:30pm. Alternatively, you can watch a live stream of the exhibition for 15 minutes each day at 12:30pm. Find out more here.




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: http://eepurl.com/gEiLeD

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 info@playscotland.org

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 jenny.lester@playscotland.org.

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: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-play-well-podcast


If you would like to receive our quarterly updates direct to your mailbox, you can subscribe to our newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/gEiLeD



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 jenny.lester@playscotland.org

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



Play Scotland asks for more space for play

At the beginning of Playday week, Calum Duncan, Chair of Play Scotland asks for more space for play

Even while restrictions are being relaxed, and children no longer have the need to distance, being playful remains crucial. Play is a vital and simple way for families and siblings to feel connected; it is a tonic in the face of anxiety, and it is a way of exploring ideas as an opportunity for intuitive learning.

However, we are challenged by good appropriate space, inside and out, for everyone to play and explore. As restrictions are lifting, traffic is significantly increasing again on our streets. However, public transport remains restricted, and soon more people will be gradually returning to places of work.

Local authorities are expanding the provision of space for pedestrians and cyclists to maintain distancing, and we would encourage these improvements to be implemented as extensively and boldly as possible. Space is needed for children and young people to PLAY, as well as all of us to get fresh air and exercise.

In built up areas, parks and greenspace are already under pressure, and we can extend this space within our towns and cities through appropriate road closures for play, walking and exercise.

This could be roads which are next to parks and schools, even rewilding some of these streets, or considering new connections to woodlands and greenspace which are currently not available or less known. A busy road junction adjacent to schools could be transformed into an expanded playground space, whilst calming car use too. A stretch of residential street could be closed where residents have limited or no gardens.

Closed sections of roads can become space to play on bikes, skateboard, chalk drawing, clowning, games and ball games between siblings, play musical instruments, or to simply relax and escape the indoors with space to breathe.

In the UK overall, 15% of dwellings have no access to private outdoor space. Only 25% of flats have outdoor space and dwellings in the most deprived areas are least likely to have private outdoor space.

It is not just for local authorities to take actions on these issues, we can all help. For every single journey we need to make, the less we drive, the slower we drive, the more we cycle and the more we walk, the more space we are making for all ages to enjoy and play. We have an opportunity to change our mindsets which will improve play space, mentalhealth and wellbeing, as well as the air quality for all of us. Lets make space to play and breathe.



Life in the time of Covid.19 – Self isolation as a teenager. Day 19

Day 19: making the most of Easter in isolation

Today my dog turns 9 months old. As a special treat, my mum and I took him out on an extra long walk this morning. We walked through the farm fields, the forest and round the outskirts of a beautiful golf course nearby. The sun shone and the birds sang for us the entirety of the walk. It was an incredible way to start my day.

In the afternoon, my sister and I decided to do some baking. As Easter is approaching, we were reminded of our favourite cake that our uncle used to make every year for Easter Sunday – carrot cake! I remember when I was young, my grandma and granddad would set up an Easter egg hunt in their garden for my cousins and I. We would all have a bag hidden somewhere with our names on it and whoever found theirs first would get the biggest slice of carrot cake! I’ll really miss seeing my wider family this year for Easter but thankfully we can use apps like Skype and Zoom to video chat with each other.

This evening, my family and I decided to create a competition. Every night we change who the chef is to keep it fair and to make sure no one gets bored of cooking every night. The competition is to score the meal out of five stars, and each night we place our vote on a timetable I drew up. At the end of lockdown we will see who got the most stars added up over every meal we have made and the winner will get the grand prize – a three course meal of their choice with their favourite homemade cocktail all made by the 4 of us who didn’t place first.




Life in the time of Covid.19 – Self isolation as a teenager. Day 12

Day 12: birthday in lockdown

Today was the day that was supposed to be my last day of school. We were supposed to have had a big party in a field near our school with bouncy castles, music and a barbecue. Sadly, due to lockdown, none of this took place. Thinking about what today should’ve been really made me sad.  Since first year this was the big day that you looked forward to and anticipated. And we couldn’t celebrate in the way we should have. It seems really unfair.

So instead of this, as a year group, we decided to have a big group FaceTime on an app called ‘Houseparty’. It was fun to chat with everyone again and hear all about each other’s lockdowns so far. I really liked using this app to chat with my friends and would recommend it.

As well as today being our imaginary last day of school, it is also my mum’s birthday. For her birthday we decided to cook a full English breakfast and bring it to her in bed. My sister and I made the food and my brother was assigned to making us all tea and coffee and bringing all the presents to my mum’s room. Once we had eaten, it was time for presents! We got her her favourite champagne and favourite chocolates. I also made her a birthday card as I’ve always loved drawing and art.

To celebrate her birthday evening, we made homemade pizzas and all had a small glass of champagne. So even though her birthday was spent in lockdown, we still had a laugh and made the evening special.



Life in the time of Covid.19 – Self isolation as a teenager. Day 10

Day 10: a little normality

I spent this morning sitting in the garden with my big sister. We both are big coffee drinkers and are especially fans of Starbucks. Because of lockdown, Starbucks is shut at the moment so to make it feel like a normal Starbucks drink, we made ourselves a coffee with Starbucks coffee grounds and drank out of our branded Starbucks cups. This made us feel better about being cooped up in the house and it brought a little normality back to our day. Dave the dog kept us company while sitting in the garden.

For my breakfast, I made a batch of my favourite homemade granola. I use an online recipe and it’s all healthy things that go into it. To make it even better I ate it with Greek yoghurt and honey which was delicious!

This afternoon, me and my brother and sister decided to play a game of cards online with our dad. It’s been really tough to not see my dad as regularly as usual and the four of us always play cards together. So doing this was a great way to reconnect with our dad. We played a game called ‘hearts’ and there was lots of betrayal and ganging up to try and mess over whoever was winning at the time. My family and I are all competitive, and as a result of this, we never have a dull game of cards. That at least hadn’t changed.



Life in the time of Covid.19 – Self isolation as a teenager. Day 9

Day 9: coping

Today was a very slow start indeed. When my alarm woke me I truly did not want to leave my bed. Every day has been tough in it’s own ways but today felt even harder. Everyone’s morales felt low this morning which made it even more difficult as sometimes we can help each other.  But not today.

My dog, Dave, was acting up on the morning walk which felt as though it was foreshadowing the theme of the day to come. But thankfully, the day did brighten up. My brother went on a long run which always helps his mood. My mum went into the garden and worked out there for hours which she loves to do. My sister and her boyfriend (who has moved in due to lockdown) took Dave on another walk and this time he behaved really well.

And I decided to do what I do best. Organisation. In order to organise my mind, I love to make timetables of my day, week or even life! So, I began making a daily timetable for everyone in the house. This was including times Dave would be walked, when people would go out for their exercise, when we would do yoga and when the “at home” workers of the house would do their work. I colour coordinated everything and did fancy writing.  It makes me happy to look at it.