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Play Wales 2021 publications


Image for Play Wales 2021 publications

During 2021 we have produced and circulated a variety of new and updated publications to support and inform those who have an interest in, or a responsibility for children’s play. Here is a summary of the publications – all of which are available to freely download.

Playwork guides

Childhood, play and the Playwork Principles 
This guide takes a look at some of the theories that influence the way adults understand children, the role of play and childhood, as well as the ethics of working with playing children. It explores some of the ideas, concepts and theories of child development and childhood that have influenced and continue to influence understandings of children and their play.

Download | view online

Practicing playwork 
This guide enables those new to playwork the opportunity to explore some of the ideas, concepts and frameworks, and the practical application of tools and approaches at the core of playwork practice. It considers concepts such as affordance and the affective environment, which enable those practicing playwork to identify, create or enhance places for playing.

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Developing and managing a playwork project 
This guide focuses on the practicalities of developing and managing the day-to-day delivery of playwork provision. It is underpinned by the Playwork Principles and produced for those with a good understanding of play and playwork theory and practice.

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Managing playworkers and working with other adults

This guide focuses on the managerial duties of senior playworkers. It provides practical information about taking on management responsibilities, supporting professional development, working with other adults and handling conflict, criticism and complaints.

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This series of four playwork guides is a collection of resources for all those who work with playing children. We worked with Ludicology to produce the guides.


Developing and managing play spaces 
The toolkit has been designed for anyone who takes responsibility for managing or developing a play space in a community. This edition of the toolkit, edited by Ludicology, is intended to provide a single source of support and signposting for community groups to navigate some of the challenges of managing or developing a play space.

Download | view online

Play for Wales magazine

Space to play outdoors 
Issue 57 (Spring 2021)

This issue highlights the importance of good quality space for children to play outdoors. It includes articles such as ‘Child-friendly streets, towns and cities’ by Tim Gill and ‘Creating inclusive spaces to play’ by Theresa Casey, as well as an overview of what children have to say about play in Wales.

Download | view online

Keep an eye out for the Winter issue which will be published early in the new year.

Information sheets

Accessing the therapeutic powers of play: a guide for playworkers
This information sheet, written by Maggie Fearn, explores what playworkers can do if a child cannot play because they are feeling anxious, worried or afraid of the future. It has been designed to support playworkers in community settings to understand some therapeutic play skills and ideas.

Download | view online

Play, museums and cultural organisations

This information sheet, written by Charlotte Derry, aims to support museums, galleries and cultural organisations working with children and families to broaden their understanding of play. It offers ideas to incorporate play into the cultural sector’s day-to-day work and service provision. 

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Weighing up risks and benefits in children’s play

This information sheet, written by Tim Gill, aims to set out why a balanced, thoughtful approach to managing risks in children’s play is needed. It gives an overview of risk-benefit assessment (RBA), which is widely accepted as a suitable approach.

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Play provision: realising disabled children’s rights

This information sheet, written by Theresa Casey, offers information and practical suggestions with the goal of creating opportunities for disabled children to realise their right to play. It is anchored in a children’s human rights approach and the Playwork Principles.

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Making community events playful

This information sheet aims to support communities to make their local events more playful for children and teenagers. It offers ideas for creating a playful experience and simple low-cost play ideas.

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Focus on play

Recognising and understanding the importance of community-based open access playwork provision  
This issue concentrates on recognising and understanding the importance of community-based open access playwork provision. It explores how playing contributes to children’s resilience and wellbeing and how open access playwork provision provides support for all children and their parents.

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Community and town councils 
This issue provides information about how to support better opportunities for children to play in their communities. Community and town councils, and therefore councillors, in Wales are well placed to be play champions for the communities in which they live and serve.

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Supporting the right to play in schools

This issue offers information and guidance for head teachers, teachers and school governors. It discusses ways schools can promote play as we continue to help children deal with the uncertainties they have faced. 

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Museums and the cultural sector

This issue provides information about how the cultural sector can support and influence children and teenagers’ opportunities to play. It is aimed at managers and strategic leaders to build upon the growing understanding and interest to support children’s play in the cultural sector.

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Top tips

Celebrating Playday

Playday is an annual UK celebration of children’s right to play. To help settings working with children to commit the day to play, we developed a list of top tips for a playful Playday. The list offers practical tips for giving children enough time, space and permission to play.

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Finding a playwork training provider

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we access training and qualifications but that doesn’t mean professionals should settle for less. These updated top tips are designed to support playworkers and other professionals involved in children’s play to make the most of their training time and budget.

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Impact report

Play Wales’ impact report 2020-2021

The impact report provides an overview of Play Wales’ work and achievements to campaign for children’s play over the 2020-2021 year. It features information about how we have adapted our work to support the sector, in response to COVID-19, engaged with new audiences to further promote children’s right to play and commissioned and published research to inform our work.

Download | view online