For children, play is a fundamental need just like eating, sleeping or drinking. The United Nations recognises play as the right of every child. Play is an essential part of growing up and enables children to develop skills for life.
A recent report written by Dr David Whitebread, a developmental psychologist and early years education specialist from the University of Cambridge, together with leading European play researchers found that while the value of play is of key importance for children’s well-being and development, it is under threat due to factors such as increasing urbanisation, the increasing stress of family life, and changes to the educational system.
In order to ensure that children have appropriate opportunities to play, public understanding and awareness of its importance as well as improved provisions of time and space for children’s play are needed.
In an effort to prevent a continued reduction of play opportunities, MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt hosted an event on 28 May 2013, ‘Taking play seriously: investing in Europe’s future’, to increase understanding of the importance of play for children’s well-being, development and education.
Further information about this event is available here.