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Play in the media


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

Freedom to Play – Changing the Conversation
Toy Industries of Europe blog (Theresa Casey)

In Theresa Casey’s latest blog article, she explores the meaning of freedom for disabled children in the context of play. A recent survey, carried out as part of Scotland’s Play Strategy, found that the concept of freedom for disabled children means that they have access to equipment that allows them to socialise with other children and feel independent without being segregated and restricted. She discusses the ‘optimum environment’ for play and how we need to include disabled children in the discussion and design of play spaces.

For more information about providing play spaces for all children, take a look at our Creating accessible play spaces toolkit.

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Children spend half the time playing outside in comparison to their parents
Child in the City (Rebecca Kennedy)

New research by the National Trust has found that children in the UK spend four hours a week playing outside, less than half the amount of time their parents spent outside playing as children. For today’s children, this means that they’re missing out on crucial mental and physical benefits of outdoor play. According to this article, the reasons for the decline of outdoor play include: a rise in the use of digital technology, land becoming more expensive and being used for building developments instead of open spaces for play and a risk averse culture.

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Turning Childhood into a Mental Illness
Spiked (Frank Furedi)

A new report by Childline says that the number of children receiving counselling sessions for mental health distress has risen by 60 percent over the past two years. This is one of many reports by advocacy groups on the rise of mental health problems in children in the UK. This article discusses the growing trend of labelling common problems that are integral to growing up as mental health disorders, meaning that we concentrate on children’s vulnerability rather than developing their resilience.

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Tes talks to… Lenore Skenazy
Tes (Sarah Cunnane)

The founder of the Free Range Kids movement, Lenore Skenazy, discusses the lack of freedom for children in our society and how we need to trust children to develop their own resilience. Ten years ago, she allowed her son to find his own way back home from a shopping Centre in New York, after writing about the experience she received negative feedback from the press. This inspired her to create the Free Range Kids movement to attempt to counter an increasingly safety obsessed society and later the ‘Let Grow’ project where children are encouraged to do one thing a week that makes them feel independent.

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8 Reasons Why Kids Should Play Outside In Winter

This article lists eight reasons why children should play outside during the winter months in the UK. Playing outside in colder weather helps children develop resilience and build strong immune systems while also giving them an appreciation of nature and much-needed vitamin D. Encouraging them to spend time outdoors also improves their fitness and health while developing their problem-solving skills.

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More articles:

  • Encouraging risk-taking in children may reduce the prevalence of childhood anxiety
    Medical Xpress
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  • It’s the middle of winter, and all I want my kids to do is play outside with me
    Motherly (Linda McGurk)
    Read article
  • Children’s play is central to their human rights
    Child in the City (Adrian Voce)
    Read article
  • How to set your children free: bring them up the German way
    The Herald (Mark Smith)
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  • What happens when you put toddlers in a forest to climb trees and use knives
    Apolitical (Jack Graham)
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