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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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The International Play Association releases a new position paper about the value of play

In their new discussion paper, the International Play Association (IPA) highlights the critical role of play to children’s well-being, development and survival, and reflects upon the impact of environmental conditions on the realisation of the right to play in children’s everyday lives.

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21 June

Play is making a difference for the children affected by the refugee crisis

Through play, we can help children recapture their childhood and learn the skills they need to recover from trauma. ‘Je Veux Jouer’ (I want to play) is a charity organisation that started out as a theatre production in Canada highlighting the need for children fleeing the Syrian war to have some semblance of a normal childhood. Backed by sponsors in Canada, the charity has spent the last few weeks in the south-east of Turkey, where volunteers have been engaging with some of the younger children through dance classes and theatre groups.

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9 May



Permission – the key to granting children freedom to play

Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales

Space, time and permission are three interrelated factors that have a significant impact on children’s opportunities to play [1]. But without permission, all the space and time in the world is worthless.

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26 May

Play: Children’s Default Setting

Adrian Voce OBE, Writer and Consultant on children’s play

This edition of the Importance of Play blog series features an excerpt from ’Policy for Play’ by Adrian Voce, expert on children’s play.

While the precise nature of play remains elusive and indefinable, several academic disciplines – from evolutionary biology to developmental and depth psychology and the emergent neurosciences – each agree in their different ways that children’s play is central to who and what we are. It seems clear from these various studies that playing has a vitally important role, both in individual development and in human evolution, but that its primary purpose is simply to be enjoyed. The great play scholar Brian Sutton-Smith famously said, ‘the opposite of play isn’t work, it’s depression’; the act of playing brings about ‘renewed belief in the worthwhileness of merely living’.

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28 April


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