Scotland’s Play Strategy

Play Strategy Vision

We want Scotland to be best place to grow up. A nation which values play as a life-enhancing daily experience for all our children and young people: in their homes, nurseries, schools and communities.

“Let’s replace all ‘no ball games’ signs with ‘children welcome to play here’” (Maree Todd, MSP, Minister for Children and Young People)

Progress review of Scotland’s Play Strategy 2021

Over the last year, Scotland, like the rest of the UK, has had to respond rapidly to the major impact of COVID-19. The report highlights how the play organisations have responded to the pandemic and emerging evidence of the impact of emergency measures on children and young people. It takes account of mitigating measures that the Scottish Government have put in place to support children’s play at a time of national crisis and provides eight recommendations on how Scotland’s Play Strategy should be taken forward in the light of COVID-19.

The eight recommendations are:

  • Refresh the Play Strategy and ensure national and local leadership
  • Renew and develop the national and local commitment to outdoor play
  • Listen to children and young people and act on what they say
  • Ensure the inclusion of all children and young people
  • Ensure cross sectoral and inter professional approaches to play
  • Sustain and support play provision through adequate funding
  • Maintain a focus on playful learning and play in schools
  • Strengthen the play sector nationally and locally.

Children and young people’s consultation 2021

Children want a return to play, more play and better play. This was children and young people’s overwhelming response to a consultation on play undertaken by Play Scotland in early 2021. COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on children and young people’s lives. After the challenges of the last year, they want a return to the play they enjoy.  This document supports the eight recommendations in the Progress Review 2021.

Progress review of Scotland’s Play Strategy 2020

The Scottish Government’s Play Strategy for Scotland and its Action Plan were launched in 2013. The Scottish Government commissioned a progress review on the Play Strategy and Action Plan in 2019 from Play Scotland.  It found that the Play Strategy and Action Plan have had a positive impact on the provision and development of play, and this report presents 24 steps for play that will support and extend children’s play opportunities, these are still seen as relevant.  After this report was presented to government the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted all aspects of life, and so a further review (2021) was produced.

Minister for Children and Young People presents on Scotland’s Play Strategy in Australia


In May 2019 Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People contributed to a Play Symposium in Brisbane, Australia where she provided a video clip discussing Scotland’s National Play Strategy.

Play Strategy Publications

A link to all play strategy in the library