Today, thousands of children and their families will be out playing in communities and at local events across the UK, celebrating Playday – the national day for play.

Over the past year and a half, children have faced challenges and uncertainty – they need to enjoy time for play free of restrictions, with their friends, having fun. Recognising the importance of children’s play and supporting children to play, on Playday and every day, is more important than ever.

Whilst Playday is the national day for play in the UK, this year we are encouraging families, carers, and communities to help children enjoy a Summer of Play

  • Playing is essential for children’s mental health and well-being. 
  • Playing helps children cope with stress and anxiety and fosters resilience, enabling children to better deal with challenges.
  • Playing gives children the opportunity to have fun, laugh, take time out, relax, and build friendships.
  • Playing outside allows children to appreciate nature, the environment, and feel part of their community.
  • Playing is fundamental to children’s happiness, and happy children lead to happier communities.

We are calling on families, carers, and communities across Northern Ireland to give children plenty of opportunities to play and have fun outdoors with their friends today and throughout the summer.

Jacqueline O’ Loughlin, Chief Executive Officer, PlayBoard NI said:

“This year’s Playday takes place during our Summer of Play. We hope families and communities across Northern Ireland are getting involved in the campaign and creating opportunities for children and young people to enjoy time to play, to relax and to spend time with their friends. Celebrating every child’s right to play is even more important this year given the challenges children have faced, so we encourage everyone to join in the day of fun on 4 August!”

To help children and young people enjoy a summer of play this year, PlayBoard has shared a Summer of Play Challenge – a list of the top 20 fun activities to try this summer.

Playday is the national day for play, traditionally held on the first Wednesday in August. As well as an annual celebration of children’s right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives. Playday is coordinated by Play England, Play Wales, Play Scotland and PlayBoard Northern Ireland.