Play Scotland Publications

Information Leaflets 



Chuckies n Puddles – pdf






What is Play? – pdf






Free to Play – pdf






Mucky Pups Leaflet – pdf 






Nature Play Leaflet – pdf






Power Of Play Leaflet – pdf






Risky Play Leaflet – pdf






Child’s Play – Top Ten Tips – pdf






Messy Play Booklets



Messy Play Book 1






Messy Play Book 2






More Messy Play Book 3






Culture Messy Play – pdf






Experimental Play – pdf






Annual Reviews



Play Scotland Annual Review 2017 – downloadable pdf




Past Annual Reviews


The Play Map

The Play Map has been developed to support Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) build play into their strategic plans.  It will help CPPs deliver on their objectives to support the wellbeing of children, young people and their families across the communities.

The Play Map aims to support CPPs to:

  • Commit to principles which support the child’s right to play
  • Provide leadership through developing strategic priorities and appointing Play Champions
  • Listen to children, young people, families and communities so their views inform CPPs
  • Map existing provision and explore gaps in current services and opportunities
  • Consider effective approaches to developing plan in communities and share effective practice
  • Review play’s contribution to CPPs locality plans.

Link to Play Map page


Play Scotland Research

Play Scotland aims to undertake quality research to provide an evidence base for the other areas of Play Scotland’s work and to inform stakeholders.


Transformation of Play for Playday 2017


  • Over 2000 adults in the UK shared their experiences of play in 1987 (or when they grew up if they were under 30 years old) and 2017.
  • The four national play organisations in the UK invited Professor John McKendrick of Glasgow Caledonian University to administer an online survey on their behalf based assisted by Sharon McCluskie, Play Scotland
  • The research was coincided with 30 years of Playday in the UK
  • The research provides a unique insight into how play has changed through time from the perspective of those who have lived through these changes.

Full details can be found here


Scottish Home Play Survey 2016

Background and Objectives
Play Scotland wanted to discover more about play in and around the home, particularly looking at attitudes, behaviours and concerns of parents and the play behaviours of their children, 8-12 year old.

The scope of this research covers:

Play behaviour
Amount of time spent playing
Variety and duration of play activities
Barriers to play

Interaction through play
Identifcation of child’s play partners
Activities played together between parent and child
Time available to play together with child
Satisfaction with time available to play together with child
Usual behaviour for initiating play together and choosing play activity
Sourcing new ideas for playing together
Barriers to playing together

Attitudes and concerns
Parental attitudes towards play and its value
Parental concerns about outside and online play

Mobile apps
Use of mobile apps
Commonly used apps
Source of permission to download mobile apps
Interest in Play Scotland’s app

Scottish Home Play Survey – June 2016 – Top Line Summary

Scottish Home Play-LRV5

Scottish Home Play Report Full

 Home Play Survey Poster Final 141016


What do we know about Play 2012 – Growing in Scotland and Play Scotland Research

What do we know about play GUS_PlayBriefing


Play in Staffed Provision: The Scottish Experience 2011

In 2011 Play Scotland surveyed a wide range of staff to find out about their experience of facilitating free play and outdoor play.  Their responses demonstrate a firm commitment to children’s play across Scotland from a wide variety of providers.

Play in Staffed Provision: The Scottish Experience


Acorns and Conkers 2008

Funded by a grant from the Big Lottery’s Investing in Ideas Programme, Acorns and Conkers provides an evidence base of the concerns and creative practice developed by the Play Sector to compensate for the inadequate support the child’s right to play in Scotland.

This was published in November 2008.  ISBN:978-0-9556647-2-4

Acorns and Conkers Document


Scottish Play Commission 2008

Play Scotland received lottery funding in October 2007 to establish the Scottish Play Commission. The Scottish Play Commission, chaired by the author Sue Palmer, examined the ‘state of play’ in Scotland and heard evidence from leading academics and play specialists from
around the world.

The structure of the Commission was designed to allow for maximum participation from the children’s sector, parents, planners and service providers in local authorities, health, the private sector and voluntary sector. A number of key events were held in Edinburgh, Inverness and
Glasgow with smaller workshops and focus groups held locally throughout Scotland. The ‘Developing Play in Scotland’ survey (Play Scotland 2008) also informed the findings of The Scottish Play Commission.

An online discussion forum was set up for 6 months, accessed through the Play Scotland website and linked to the UK World Café discussion forum on the Future of Playwork.

The findings led the Scottish Play Commission to recommend to the Scottish Government that they..

. Develop a National Play Strategy, 0-18 years, in consultation with children and young people, which will inform local play strategies and address the themes identified in this report

2. Create a national Play indicator, with minimum actions and standards, national monitoring and resources to support its implementation across all local authorities

3. Promote the critical role of Play in child development and raise public awareness of the value of Play

4. Build the capacity of communities to support a wide range of Play opportunities and monitor the benefits

5. Support the Playwork Profession to develop as a valued Workforce

Findings of the Scottish Play Commission Exec Sum

Findings of the Scottish Play Commission Full Report


Developing Play in Scotland

Developing Play in Scotland Research – pdf
Research in conjunction with the Scottish Play Commission.


Local Authority Play Provision in Scotland 2006

Play Scotland was commissioned to gather baseline information in play in a local authority context. A two page questionnaire (which can be found at Appendix 1 in the research document) was distributed to all local authorities in Scotland in 2006 to collect key information on play policy, funding and training. 27 of the 32 local authorities in Scotland responded before the survey end date.

We were keen to determine the level of support, policy and planning for play within the local authorities in the absence of a statutory duty for play.

This was published in September 2007.  ISBN: 978-0-9556647-0-0


School Ground Research

Play Scotland in partnership with Grounds for Learning and sportscotland have undertaken a research project about the use of school grounds for play, learning and sport. The project has produced a literature review and the first national survey of state sector school grounds in Scotland. This project has been funded by sportscotland.