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Play in the media


Here is a summary of the latest play related articles and blogs to be published online.

Recreation revolution: Why Wales enshrined kids’ playtime in law
Apolitical (Burton Bollag)

This article looks at how Wales became the first country in the world to legislate for play and the practicalities of implementing the law. Marianne Mannello, Play Wales’ Assistant Director talks about the flexibility of the legislation and how it can be adapted to suit the needs of local authorities in Wales. Steps taken by local authorities to comply with the law include: temporarily closing streets for play, opening school grounds out of teaching hours and purchasing play equipment for disabled children.  

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Want kids in cities to play outside? Just building playgrounds isn’t enough

This article looks at a research report by The Bernard Van Leer Foundation that found that providing dedicated play spaces in cities is not enough to make sure that children play outside. For one of the authors of the report, Sukanya Krishnamurthy, creating a city that is friendly to families means creating inclusive spaces for all age groups. Instead of dedicated play spaces, she suggests changes from the small scale such as ‘playful street furniture’ to a larger scale such as governments introducing reform to allow child participation in policy making. 

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‘Risky’ Playgrounds Are Making a Comeback
CityLab (Tavi Misra)

According to this article, the adventure playground is emerging as an alternative to fixed equipment playgrounds in the US and UK. Tim Gill, a researcher and advocate of adventure playgrounds, says that playgrounds should contain some degree of challenge and risk for children to be able to develop skills to ‘navigate the real world’. While the concept of riskier adventure playgrounds is gaining popularity, many local authorities are held back by the fear of litigation.

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5 Proven Benefits Of Play
NPR (Anya Kamenetz)

A paper recently published in the American medical journal Pediatrics summarises the evidence supporting the benefits of play. The paper asks doctors to take an active role in getting more children to play by writing a ‘prescription for play’. This article lists five of the research supported benefits to play included in the paper, for example developing a healthy brain, reducing obesity and managing stress. 

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More articles:

  • Five Easy Ideas for Pavement Play this summer
    Playing Out (Ingrid)

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  • How Kids Learn to Navigate the City (and the World), in Five Designs
    CityLab (Amanda Kolson Hurley)

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  • Primary schools ditch homework for students in favour of play, reading and downtime
    ABC news (Rebecca Carmody)

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  • More children are living in high-rise apartments, so designers should keep them in mind
    The Conversation

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  • The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children
    American Academy of Pediatrics

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  • Why playtime is an essential part of childhood development
    Child in the City (Jenny Silverstone)

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