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Playful Childhoods’ Project Play launched


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Playful Childhoods’ Project Play aims to get families across Wales away from screens and revisiting the simplicity and enjoyment of playing outdoors and playing games of the past. Whether it be on a beach, in a park, or on a safe street outside the house.

Through Project Play, Playful Childhoods wants to inject the fun and spirit back into simple, imaginative, active play – just like adults of today remember fondly from their childhoods.

A survey* carried out by Playful Childhoods, to inform Project Play, has revealed that 66 percent of adults in Wales believe children today have fewer of the same play experiences as when they were young.

The most common reason is due to concerns that technology is impacting childhood, with 59 percent of adults saying that ‘technology gets in the way’ of play. The most missed games from the past are hide and seek, double dutch (skipping rope) and hopscotch.

The survey also explored the benefits of having more free and spontaneous play. Most respondents reported how playing as a child kept them active and healthy which has resulted in them staying more active as an adult. Others said it helped them develop a good imagination.

Playful Childhoods is a Play Wales campaign.

Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales, said:

‘We wanted to hear from adults and parents about their childhood experiences of play and how they helped to form the adults they have become. Our research confirmed that the rise in the use of technology – amongst other things – has had a negative impact on outdoor play opportunities for children today. Parents are concerned about this.

‘To launch the project, we wanted to bring back the games that are most missed. It’s brilliant how playing these games brings feelings of nostalgia and reminds us of the pure joy of being a child. Playing is hugely important to children’s health and happiness. Through Project Play, we want to remind parents how easy it is to play outdoors with friends and family, with no cost. We’d love to see everyone coming together to make their communities more playful – not just the children, but the adults too!’

Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, said:

‘Play is essential to children’s enjoyment and contributes so much to their overall well-being. I’m pleased that the Welsh Government have been able to provide funding to Play Wales to support the Playful Childhoods campaign. The initiative will help highlight the importance of play and the role families and communities have in creating opportunities for children to play.’

Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said:

‘Playing is so important to children’s development that they actually have a human right to play, and this has been enshrined in the law here in Wales. It’s vital that we, the adults around them, do all that we can to give children every opportunity to enjoy this right. It can be easy to forget how beneficial playing simple games can be: it’s a fantastic way of letting off steam, boosting mood, getting exercise, and bonding with others.

‘Reminding families of the value of enjoying these games together is really important. Like many adults, some of my happiest memories of childhood are from playing outdoors with friends and family. I’m delighted that Play Wales is encouraging everyone to get involved in Project Play this summer.’

Visit the Playful Childhoods website

* Playful Childhoods research results – the online survey was completed by 1,027 respondents from across Wales in May 2019. Answers were collected from respondents in North (23 percent), South East (46 percent), Mid (7 percent) and West Wales (24 percent). Of the respondents, the majority at 67 percent were parents or legal guardians.