Spirit 2017: A healthy childhood

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Play in the media06-10-2017

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

Policymakers should look again at children’s play – Child in the City (Adrian Voce)

The first of a three-part essay adapted from Adrian Voce’s 2015 book, Policy of Play, looks at children’s play policy. He lists the known benefits of play for children and states that children’s play tends to get overlooked by adults for being ‘frivolous and unimportant’ when it should be considered vital for children’s development.

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Young people demand role in shaping future of parks and green spaces – Child in the City (Adrian Voce)

Groundwork UK says that it wants young people to be involved in The Parks Action Group to make sure that their voice is heard. The group was launched by UK Government’s Communities Minister, Marcus Jones to ensure that public green spaces are adequate for the community. According to Groundwork UK, it’s important for young people to be involved in the group because they can ‘help preserve, develop and build parks and green spaces and meet the needs of everyone’.

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Children call for healthy environment to play - The United Nations Human Rights Council

A mural from children in Tranant in Scotland was unveiled during a day of discussing the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. The project saw children in the community create a painting depicting what they wanted in the town, including plenty of green space for play. The mural was then taken to the United Nations office in Geneva as part of an event on children’s rights and the environment.

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Time to Play – Melissa and Doug

As part of their Takeback Childhood campaign, American toy manufacturers Melissa and Doug, have conducted a study on parents’ perspective on play. The study found that unstructured, child led play was not a priority for parents, that the benefits of play weren’t fully appreciated and that children playing indoors would most likely be in front of a screen.

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Toys R Us Wants to Be a ‘Champion of Play’ With New Brand Positioning – Adweek (Kristina Monllos)

Toys R Us is rebranding and they are bringing play to the forefront of their new campaign. They found that free play has declined over the years and free time has dropped by 25 percent since 1981. The Chief Marketing Officer, Carla Hassan said that, ‘When you look at all of that you realize there is an epidemic in this world where kids are not having the time they need to play freely’. It is launching a ‘play lab’ in 42 of their stores in the USA which will be an open area for children to play with toys.

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'I think we've gone overboard with trying to keep kids safe': a Swedish mum's secret for raising healthy kids – The Local Sweden (Eugenia Tanaka)

A Swedish woman wants to bring the concept of friluftsliv, or ‘outdoor life’ to the USA. Linda Åkeson McGurk moved to the States and was struck by how little contact children had with nature and how sedentary their lives were. She has released a book ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather: A Scandinavian mom’s guide to raising healthy, resilient and confident kids’, to inspire parents to raise children who enjoy being outdoors. In this article, she gives an interview about her lifestyle and parenting methods.

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Kids given passports to play outside – The West Australian

As part of a new collaborative initiative in the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup, Australia, pupils from primary schools are given passports to play outside. They are designed to be fun and as well as being an ‘important tool for boosting children’s development’ by increasing their imaginative play. Along with the passports the children are given 10 missions that include climbing a tree, building a den, or riding a bike which earn them virtual points.

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Don’t tell my kid to stop going up the slide! – Mommy Shorts

A blogger expresses her frustration on the barriers she faces from other parents who try to enforce rules on her child. In this post, she uses going up the slide as an example of parents trying to create unnecessary rules in the playground. She draws from a New York Times article discussing how playgrounds are too safe and that children should have the opportunity to take risks without being opposed by adults.

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