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.