Today (5 August), across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, children and young people, their families, and their communities, are Making a Big Noise for Playday, the national day for play.

Recognising the importance of children’s play and supporting children to play in carefree ways, on Playday and every day, is more important than ever.

This year’s Playday theme, Everyday Freedoms Everyday Adventures, highlights the importance of giving children and teenagers the freedom to play and have everyday adventures.

Given the challenges faced by children this year due to government restrictions, the campaign focuses on the unique characteristics of play that help children make sense of the world around them and can alleviate their stress and anxiety, particularly during uncertain times.

  • Playing is fun and is central to children’s happiness

  • Playing helps children’s physical, mental and emotional health and well-being

  • Playing boosts children’s resilience, enabling them to cope with stress, anxiety and challenges

  • Playing supports children to develop confidence, creativity and problem-solving skills

  • Playing contributes to children’s learning and development.

PlayBoard is calling on families, carers, and communities across Northern Ireland to join the celebration of play from their doorsteps and clap, cheer, bang pots and pans, and generally Make a Big Noise for Playday at 2:00pm.  

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

“The restrictions faced by children and young people over the past few months have been incredibly difficult, with dramatic reductions in physical and social play opportunities. These restrictions have had a significant impact on children, with our own research telling us that they are experiencing increased levels of anxiety, reduced levels of physical activity, and worries about the impact social isolation will have on their friendships.

“Playing and access to quality play opportunities are essential for children. Playday is a celebration of the joy of play, as well as a recognition of all the protective benefits it offers for children’s health and well-being. We encourage everyone to join our celebration this afternoon and make a big noise about play!”

For more on Playday and resources to get involved go to www.playday.org.uk