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Playday 2018 - celebrating the child's right to play


Image for Playday 2018 - celebrating the child's right to play

Today is Playday – the UK’s annual celebration of play.
This year, all four children’s commissioners from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales stand together to support the importance of children’s play as an essential aspect of childhood as thousands of children across the four nations attend organised Playday events.
Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland, and Anne Longfield OBE Children’s Commissioner for England are urging everyone to play their part in ensuring the creation of the best possible opportunities for all children and young people to embrace their right to play.
The four Commissioners are calling for: 

  • All adults to consider how they can help children and young people across the UK have time, space, permission and support to play, both in their family life and in their community.
  • Organisations to think about whether they are doing all they can to empower and involve children and young people to have a say in ideas and decisions that affect their rights – including their right to play.
  • Governments and statutory agencies to actively promote and protect children’s right to play through the provision of adequate resources.


Download the Commissioners’ statement 

Now in its 31st year, Playday celebrates ‘Children's Right to Play’ as set out in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which recognises the right of every child to play, rest, leisure, enjoy recreational activities and free and full participation in cultural and artistic life.

Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales said: 

‘We welcome the Children’s Commissioners recognition and support of the importance of play as an essential part of childhood and the contribution it makes to realising some of their other rights. Playing is important to children and it makes a significant positive impact on their health, wellbeing and happiness. As a society – adults, organisations and governments – we need to continue working together to ensure everyone values the child’s right to play and that it’s provided for by making certain that every child in Wales has enough time, space and permission to play every day of the year.’

The four national UK play organisations, Play Wales, PlayBoard Northern Ireland, Play England and Play Scotland are calling on everyone – parents, grandparents, carers, childcare providers and support staff across the UK to help celebrate and promote the importance of play for all children.
In a joint statement, Play Scotland’s CEO Marguerite Hunter Blair, Play Wales Director Mike Greenaway, PlayBoard Northern Ireland CEO Jacqueline O’Loughlin and Play England’s Chair of Trustees Nicola Butler said:

‘We warmly welcome this support and call to action from the four Children’s Commissioners. Providing opportunities for play is everyone’s responsibility. We all need to continue to work together to ensure that every child has enough time, space and permission to play every day of the year. So, let’s all get out to play on Playday and have the best fun ever.’

Playday is co-ordinated by PlayBoard Northern Ireland, Play Scotland, Play England and Play Wales 

To celebrate 31 years of Playday we’ve pulled together 31 play ideas – we shared an idea a day on social media throughout July. In case you missed any, we’ve gathered them in one poster. 

Download 31 play ideas poster  

Right to Play roadshow

Play Wales is working on a range of objectives for Public Health Wales to promote play as an everyday experience. Our Right to Play roadshow will be visiting Conwy’s Playday event in Colwyn Bay on Playday. 

Natalie Field, Consultant in Public Health at Public Health Wales said:

‘By helping parents and carers promote active play and reduce screen time, we can help children lead healthier and happier lives for the long term. Our 10 steps to a healthy weight programme promotes the importance of being active from a young age and Play Day is a celebration of all the great benefits outdoor play has on mental and physical health. For more information see our 10 Steps to a Healthy Weight programme on the Every Child Wales website.’