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Taking play seriously - Investing in Europe’s Future


Playgrounds: a safe answer to the mortal risk of physical inactivity

Challenging playgrounds are an evident answer to the physical inactivity of today’s children. They encourage self-chosen, voluntary physical activity. They are among the activities that children themselves mention as their favourite pastime. The WHO in their Global Guidelines for Physical Activity for Health mentions play first, when describing what activities count as physical activity for the 5-18 years old.

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22 November

Study finds play and cognitive skills in kindergarten predict civic engagement in later life

Cognitive skills and experiences like classroom-based play in kindergarten lead to participation in extracurricular activities in 8th grade among children growing up in poverty, finds a new study led by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

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30 October



Playing for Diversity - How Challenging Traditional Play Patterns Can Help Children Get the Most out of Play

Andrés Payà, Founding Member of the Spanish Observatory on Children’s Play

We have seen a growing number of social awareness campaigns led by NGOS and public bodies towards the promotion of “non-sexist” toys in recent years, especially in the run up to Christmas. Although it is great that society is becoming more and more sensitive to the idea of diversity in play, these kind of actions do not start from an accurate point of view and can be misleading.

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13 February

Freedom to Play – Changing the Conversation

Theresa Casey, independent consultant and former President of the International Play Association

In a recent survey, carried out in the context of Scotland’s Play Strategy, the concept of ‘freedom’ emerged as particularly significant value for disabled children and their families when it comes to spaces to play. Freedom has different forms for those who took part in the survey: freedom to move in and around a space, to be able to access playful features and interact with the environment; for some children to move very expansively whether rolling down hills, running wildly ‘while being safe to do so’, enjoying the sensation of moving through space that a nest swing brings or being able to ‘wander’ at their own pace; they spoke about freedom to choose rather than be confined to one ‘inclusive’ bit of equipment; and freedom from judgement about communicating, looking or behaving differently. If anything seems to encapsulate what we mean by play, it is this sense of freedom.

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20 December


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