Give children more Time to Play

Giving children more opportunities to play makes them feel happier and healthier. That’s what parents and children have told us in a new survey.

We have shared the survey to mark Playday – an annual day to celebrate children’s right to play. Playday is celebrated by thousands of children across Wales and the rest of the UK to emphasise the importance and value of play in children’s lives.

Nearly 70% of children surveyed said that playing makes them feel happy and excited, and 62% would like to play more than five times a week. Despite this, more than a third of children think that scrolling on TikTok and watching YouTube videos is stopping them from playing.

Meanwhile, most parents and carers across Wales agree that playing is important for children’s wellbeing, with 90% saying that playing has a positive impact on their mental health.

The survey also found 90% of children surveyed said 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 at a play centre like an afterschool club, or at a school playground, at a skatepark, or at home. But, 10% said they can’t do any of the things they’d like to do at these places.

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 Summer Pritchard 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.’

How can we encourage more play

With children, parents and carers in agreement on the value of play to children’s health and happiness, encouraging children and creating opportunities to play has never been more important.

Our website includes lots of ideas and resources to help parents and carers support children of all ages to get what they need most out of play. The resources include:

  • How to play guides – offering practical advice and pointers to help you make the most of every play opportunity for your child.
  • Space for play – ideas about places for your child to play indoors and outdoors.
  • Top tips – downloadable resources covering a range of play topics.

Get involved

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram to watch videos and hear more about why children think playing is important.

Tell us about your children’s summer play experiences using the #TimeToPlay hashtag


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