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Taking play seriously - Investing in Europe’s Future

For children, play is a fundamental need just like eating, sleeping or drinking. It is an essential part of growing up and enables children to develop skills for life. Yet despite its recognised benefits, play is increasingly under threat. We need to ensure that children have better and more opportunities to play.

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Research has found a relationship between pretend play and a child’s developing creativity

Research has found a relationship between pretend play and a child’s social competence with peers. The studies that connect pretend play to all of those positive outcomes are correlational. In other words, a socially astute, competent child might be more interested in pretend play, rather than pretend play making a child more socially astute.

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4 July

Free play improves students’ attention according to a study

Kids learn through movement. A study from the University of Virginia found that, compared to 1998, children today are spending far less time on self-directed learning—moving freely and doing activities that they themselves chose—and measurably more time in a passive learning environment. However, research has shown time and again that children need opportunities to move in class.

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27 June



It’s not just children who miss out when their play is censored - we all do

Mike Greenway, Director of Play Wales

Some time ago when involved in the production of a publication aimed at identifying quality in playwork [1] I found myself revisiting decisions my partner and I had made in respect of our own children’s play. It was the 70s and we had very clear ideas about gender stereotyping and war games.

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3 April

How do we ensure children with disabilities have access to good quality play experiences?

Eric Mitchell, Freelance Consultant

We know, understand and accept that every child has the right to play as enshrined in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). We should also know, understand and accept that EVERY child should fully enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children as stated in Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Yet, in 2016, we are experiencing widening inequality.

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30 November


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