Spirit 2017: A healthy childhood

26 October - Cardiff
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Playing and Hanging Out

Playing contributes to the wellbeing and resilience of human beings - particularly young ones. Having welcoming places, enough time and the company of others to play with every day, is of great consequence to all children and young people - as adults we need to foster environments that support this.

The Welsh Government Play Policy (2002) defines play as follows:

play encompasses children's behaviour which is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. It is performed for no external goal or reward, and is a fundamental and integral part of healthy development - not only for individual children, but also for the society in which they live.

Freely chosen means that children themselves choose when, how and what to play. As such it is not part of a set programme and does not have any steps that need to be completed.

Personally directed means children themselves decide the rules and roles they take within their play.

Intrinsically motivated means that play is undertaken for its own sake, and not performed for any reward, certificate or status.

Play is difficult to define - it is many different types of behaviour and interactions with others and/or with environments and objects.

Download Tips for supporting children to play out confidently