We promote Playful Childhoods through the year to parents, carers and those who work with children and families. Also, from time to time we run short campaigns which focus on a specific topic or issue relating to children’s right and need to play in Wales.
The short campaigns may have ended, but the topics remain timely and relevant – and we continue to try to address the issues to improve opportunities to play and socialise for children of all ages.
The campaigns offer a valuable opportunity to:
- increase awareness about the importance of play for all children
- promote children’s right to play
- remind parents and other adults about giving children and teenagers of all ages plenty of opportunities to play and socialise at home and out in theie neighbourhoods
- bring Playful Childhoods to the attention of more people.
Our latest campaigns include:
Playing on a shoestring
This campaign promoted the benefits of low-cost or no-cost opportunities to play for children of all ages–through the summer holidays and beyond.It acknowledges the profound impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on families and focuses on the everyday low-cost or no-cost play adventures that children can enjoy at home, in play settings, and in their communities. The ‘Playing on a shoestring’ film features children around Wales being presented with a box of everyday household items to inspire their play. Its aim is to show simple play ideas that don’t need to involve expensive activities, costly toys, or trips to far-off destinations this summer, as the children use their innate creativity and sense of fun to interact and initiate their own play, without adult involvement. The film was launched on Playday 2023 the national day for play in the UK.
Time to play
’I’d rather be playing’ – our new survey found children in Wales want to play more but having no one to play with, TikTok and uninspiring play places can stop them. To address this, we were keen to encourage and support parents and carers to inspire and motivate more opportunities for their children to play–during the summer holidays and beyond – despite social barriers. With almost 70% of children saying playing makes them feel happy and excited, we called on parents, carers and communities across Wales to give children more Time to Play – at home and out in their neighbourhoods with friends.
Why more Time to Play? We asked 500 parents with children under 15 and 500 children aged 5 to 15 in Wales what they thought about play and this is what they told us:
- Children surveyed said they’d like to play more (over 60% would like to play more than five times a week), yet over 30% say scrolling on TikTok and watching YouTube videos is stopping them from doing so.
- 91% of parents say playing has a positive impact on the mental health of their children, with almost 70% of children saying playing makes them feel happy and excited. Yet, over 20% of children say having no one to play with stops them from playing.
- 90% of children say they’re generally happy with the places they play, from playing outside in nature to playing on the street or on the pavement, to playing a play centre like an afterschool club, or at school playground, to a skatepark, or at home. However, 10% say they can’t do any of the things they’d like to at these places.
What children told us
Children have told us how playing makes them feel, like 10-year-old Aneurin York from Barry who said:
‘I really like playing because it actually helps me in life with stuff and helps me know how I’m feeling. It also shows people how to express their feelings without having to hide them from anyone’.
Talking about why she’d rather be playing, 13-year-old SummerPritchard from Treherbert said:
‘Playing makes me feel free. And if I didn’t have a playing to turn to, I’d just be in my room watching TikTok on my phone’
'When I was your age...'
The ‘When I was your age’ campaign challenged assumptions around teenage behaviour in public spaces. We wanted to encourage every one to be more tolerant of teenagers in shared spaces because as it turns out, we’re not so different after all...
Go on, have a little think about your life as a teenager. Sure, maybe there was little less technology and the trends might have been different, but you’ll probably be surprised to realise how similar your experiences are to those of teenagers today.
Teenagers from across Wales shared their experiences of play and hanging out with their friends, and we encouraged adults to think about the similarities between them.