What Kind of Europe do Children Want?
Anna, Member of Eurochild Children’s Council
The Play Blog is normally a place for us to share expert views on the importance and impact of play in children’s lives. As regular readers know, the UN recognises every child’s right to play, but this is one right amongst many that contribute to children leading happy and fulfilled lives. Policy makers have an important role in protecting these rights by thinking about how their decisions will affect children. However, to help children fully exercise their rights it’s important that their voices are included in the decision making process itself, including when it comes to the provision of adequate time and space to play.
Recently, Eurochild and UNICEF have joined together to do just this. They have launched a public survey that asks what kind of Europe children want. We’ve invited Eurochild Children’s Council member, 15-year-old Anna from Greece, to let readers know why it is so important for children to make their voices heard about what the Europe they want looks like.
Robyn Monro Miller, President of the International Play Association
2018 marks the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations General Comment 17 on the right of the child to play. Today is World Play Day: it’s time to reflect on just how far we have gone in those five years.
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.
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.