Scotland’s Children Get into Summer
On Wednesday 4th August 2021, thousands of children and their families were out playing in communities and local events across Scotland, celebrating Playday – the national day for play.
There was even more to celebrate on Playday this year with the launch of the Play Well Outdoors pack, a universal offer to all primary school children in Scotland, packed full of play ideas, activities and ideas of places to visit this summer and beyond. It was developed by Play Scotland in partnership with Save the Children, STV Appeal and the Beano.
The pack was launched at a Stay, Play and Learn session at Glasgow’s Queen’s Park by Clare Haughey, MSP and Minister for Children and Young People.
The sessions, run by Early Years Scotland, focus on the benefits of outdoor play through planned activities that support family health and wellbeing. Parents who attend receive a Play Well Outdoors pack and a food package with recipes to encourage families to prepare meals at home. Around 400 packs are distributed each week.
On launching the pack, Children’s Minister Clare Haughey said:
“Good morning everybody and thank you for inviting me to join you to celebrate National Playday.
We want Scotland to be the best play to grow up. A nation which values play as a life enhancing daily experience for all our children and young people – in our homes, nurseries, schools and communities. So I’m pleased that we were able to come together and celebrate that commitment to play today.
As part of the celebrations, I’m pleased to announce that Play Scotland are today launching their new Play Well Outdoors Pack in partnership with Save the Children and Beano, and funded by the Scottish Government’s Get into Summer Campaign.
This is a universal offer to all primary school aged children in Scotland which is full of ideas for play that are great fun that don’t need much preparation or resources. The packs will be available to families to download through Play Scotland and Save the Children’s websites. So I encourage all of you to seek out a copy! The pack gives families ideas and inspiration for play, conversations and activities to support their child’s wellbeing.
We know the benefits of outdoor learning, exercise and play for young children in terms of their health and wellbeing, physical and cognitive development. Our commitment to promoting play and its benefits meant that from the start of the pandemic we prioritised play and continued to do so throughout the Covid strategic framework. Protecting children’s right to play was one of the key priorities for the Scottish Government during lockdown, and remains so as we now focus on how to support children and families in recovering from the impact of the pandemic.
Our children and young people have experienced significant disruption to all aspects of their lives as a result of Covid-19. It’s impacted on their wellbeing; their education, their social connections. They have told us that their mental health was a primary concern as a result of the pandemic and that they need a range of activity to help them reconnect with their peers and friends.
Our Get into Summer Campaign is backed by funding of £20 million to deliver a wide range of activities for children and young people and their families over the summer, ensuring they are provided with opportunities to socialise, play and reconnect within their local communities and environments.
This will help children and young people to play outside, be active, meet friends and have fun in a Covid-safe way.
I would like to thank Play Scotland, Save the Children, and the Beano for organising today’s fantastic events. I hope everyone enjoys the day, and is encouraged to keep on playing!”