Is It Right To Take Your Kids To The Playground Now It’s Allowed?

Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine and expert in infectious diseases based at the University of East Anglia, says it’s important to remember the risk of children contracting the virus is minimal – particularly outdoors where there’s better ventilation, and the virus can be killed by UV light. Read more here:



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



Playful Schools – building resilience through play

Play Scotland is delighted to announce the launch of its new project, Playful Schools, in partnership with ScrapAntics, supported by the Wellbeing fund.

Play Scotland, ScrapAntics and Dundee City Council have a proven track record of working together to support play in Dundee. The Playful Schools project will work with local partners including the Children and Families Development and the Community Learning and Development team at Dundee City Council, to deliver weekly loose parts play sessions through the hubs and understand the impact of this form of play on children’s wellbeing. All activities will be adapted to respond to the changing phases of the Covid-19 crisis.

Play Scotland, through the Playful Schools Project will:

i. Work with ScrapAntics to develop and deliver a creative and flexible model of loose parts play taking account of Covid-19 restrictions to provide play sessions in the Dundee Community Support Hubs over the summer. These will:

  • Provide an alternative, strengths-based learning environment for children
  • Increase physical health through enabling access to outdoor play opportunities
  • Encourage children to re-engage with children-led, unstructured learning activities
  • Enable children to work through their emotions through physical activity
  • Support staff in the hubs by providing alternative resources
  • Provide opportunities for socialisation and relaxation

ii. Create a customised resource pack to support children’s mental health and well-being in partnership with Dundee City Council. Drawing on the Play Scotland Home play pack (almost 25,000 packs already delivered in 31 local authorities), we will develop a resource pack to support the health and wellbeing of children, and provide play resources that will engage children and support their transition to school.

iii. Build a new model based on a robust evaluation of Playful Schools to allow the model to be used in settings across Scotland, including the development of a Handbook, Risk Benefit Assessments and case study. The evaluation process will focus on creating a new model that can be implemented across Scotland. We will measure incremental improvements in the support already provided by the Hubs and will develop clear indicators to assess impact of the intervention on the mental health and well-being of children.




An evidence report on Covid-19 and children’s play

An evidence report on Covid-19 and children’s play shows that the benefits of children playing outside outweigh the risks. The UK Play Safety Forum have been very concerned about the lack of statistical clarity around the impact of the Covid-19 virus on children. It was agreed that it would be very helpful for policy makers to have a document that made clear the true impact of the virus in terms of children’s health in order to help balance the risks of the virus compared to the damage of current policy to their wellbeing and development. In discussion it was felt that the Forum was probably one of the most experienced and qualified bodies to put this together.

David Ball, Professor of Risk Management at Middlesex University, agreed to write a report on this together with the Help of Tim Gill and Andrew Yates, who chairs the British and European Standards Committees for children’s play. The report is also supported by the UK Children’s Play Policy Forum.

Covid19 and Play Report



A Place in Childhood: Covid-19 project with Scottish children and young people

Over 3 workshops held in May, 25 young people between the ages of 10 to 16 years had their say on how Covid 19 is affecting their lives and school work, as part of a project supported by the children’s charity A Place in Childhood (APiC).

The teams included children from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Rural Stirlingshire, with a Rural Falkirk team joining the third workshop. Participants were recruited with help from Leith Community Crops in Pots, the Children’s Parliament, and local primary and secondary schools in Aberdeen and Denny.

Despite very different places and backgrounds, there was strong consensus among the young people regarding the 5 big changes affecting them due to Covid-19, and the associated challenges and remedies. The third workshop focused on those challenges where they believed small improvements could make a big difference. Remote schooling emerged as a top priority for all, and their views and recommendations were published in the Scotland on Sunday 14th June 2020.



New Guidance from the Scottish Government on reopening ELC provision

The Scottish Government have published new guidance today for Nurseries and other early learning and childcare (ELC) providers to help them plan for reopening when it is safe to do so. The new guidance sets out the core public health measures that will need to be taken to allow safe reopening. The guidance can be found here



CPPF Statement on Racism

As a group of play professionals, researchers and academics leading on issues pertaining to play in the four nations we have agreed it to be important to respond to the terrible death of George Floyd and the profound outpouring of experiences, voices and outrage that have followed.

We are deeply saddened that there has had be another life lost to raise the issue of systemic racism in our countries.

The CPPF aim to build on this opportunity to highlight this issue to review our own work and membership.

We aim to include all children when we seek to look at play policy and are aware that we can always do more. We, like other groups cannot be complacent or accepting of racism in any form.

We are aware of the shortcomings in the paucity of BAME colleagues both in our own group and in senior positions in the play sector more widely. We feel it is important for us to really look at and explore the impact of systemic racism on the children in our countries. We aim that this terrible event will ensure that we keep this issue central to our plans moving forward with the aim to help create a future with a level playing field.

We will ensure that this statement underpins all out future discussions, work, interactions and publications.

Children’s Play Policy Forum, June 2020



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.