Play for postive mental health

With the focus on mental health this week, it is important to remember that play is vital to supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Play Scotland undertook a survey in April 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 on play  and childcare settings in Scotland. The impact of the pandemic and the resulting restrictions on children and families’ mental health and wellbeing was a major concern.

The impact of Covid-19 on play opportunities compounds an already recognised worrying problem in childhood. The decline of outdoor play is a huge issue for the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

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Play Scotland Home play pack

Play Scotland are delighted to launch their Home play pack which will be free to organisations working with children and families in these challenging times.

We know children need play to thrive and make sense of their world, and that play supports their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Play Scotland have created this pack and our #101waystoplay campaign in order to support children and families to stimulate their imagination, creativity and play time. Many ideas can be led and carried out by children themselves, with very little adult support and some are good fun for all the family! Many are suitable for indoors  or confined spaces, and most are low cost or free.

Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People said:

“I’m delighted that Play Scotland are responding to the current situation by launching their new Home play pack, as part of their #101waystoplay campaign. Play has never been more important to help children get through these difficult times but given the current pressures on families, it can be a real challenge for all of us to find time to play. The Home play pack has some great tips and ideas for helping families to fit play in their day.”

  • Play Scotland Home play pack

    Play Scotland Home play pack

    Play Scotland have launched the Home play pack which will be FREE to organisations in Scotland working with children and families in these challenging times.
    pdf (996.98 KB)

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Playday 2020

We are delighted to announce that the theme for this year’s Playday is … Everyday Freedoms Everyday Adventures

The Playday 2020 theme aims to highlight the importance of giving children and teenagers the freedom to play and have everyday adventures. As well as celebrating children’s right to play, Playday 2020 recognises the impact of government restrictions and physical distancing on children’s mental health and opportunities to play freely with friends and in their community.

This year, we want to focus on the unique characteristics of play that we know help children make sense of the world around them and can alleviate their stress and anxiety, particularly during challenging and uncertain times.

As in previous years we are calling on families and carers to support children to play in carefree ways, on Playday and every day! Children will play wherever they are and whenever they can – as adults we can support this by making play a part of our daily life.

Find out more about the theme and how this year’s Playday differs from previous campaigns, at: https://www.playday.org.uk/

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Play Scotland Survey Report

Just released – a survey was undertaken by Play Scotland in April 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 on play and childcare settings in Scotland. A total of 263 responses were received from play and childcare providers. This Play Scotland report presents a timely and up to date picture of the impact  of COVID-19 on play and childcare provision in Scotland.

Of great concern is that the vast majority of respondents said that children’s outdoor play opportunities had been curtailed due to the coronavirus crisis.

We know children need play to thrive and make sense of their world  and that play supports their mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is of vital importance to the wellbeing of children, families and communities.

Play Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government, local government and support agencies to work together to ensure Scotland’s children are enabled to play, particularly outdoors, in order for them to be safe, well and protected during this challenging time.

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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.

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Play in the time of coronavirus

Tim Gill and Penny Wilson share some thoughts and ideas on supporting children’s play in these challenging times, bearing in mind that they may need to be indoors, or  following official guidance if they are outside.  This useful post has been updated to reflect the most up to date advice.
https://rethinkingchildhood.com/2020/03/18/children-play-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-playwork/

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