PlayBoard NI has joined with Play England, Play Scotland, Play Wales, playfirstuk, Playing Out and Save the Children to call for children’s play to be prioritised this summer to repair some of the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic on children’s well-being. Summer of Play campaigners including charities, businesses and child development experts are asking organisations to pledge to support a #SummerOfPlay to help bolster children’s mental and physical health as the Covid-19 restrictions ease.
Play is vital for children’s physical and mental health and development, yet coronavirus restrictions have greatly restricted children’s access to play and outdoor activities. What’s more, we know that children growing up in poverty often have even fewer opportunities to play safely.
It is hoped that this campaign will help children recover from the impact of repeated lockdowns and give those who’ve been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic the opportunities they need to play and have fun.
Pledge your support
Pledge your support for children to have space and time for play this summer by supporting fun, friends and freedom! Organisations and individuals can pledge support and find out more about the Summer of Play campaign at www.summerofplay.co.uk
Organisations are encouraged to consider what they can offer on a practical level e.g. play focused activities at summer clubs and groups, organising play streets, providing access to space for play, providing products or funds to organisations working with children. Organisations are also encouraged to think about how they can support children who are disadvantaged or who have been adversely affected by Covid-19.
Show your support on social media using #SummerOfPlay and #FunFriendsFreedom
Click here to go to our play ideas and activities page where you will find lots of inspiration for fun activities for children and young people. Find out how to make playdough, learn how to juggle, build a bug hotel, or try shadow drawings on a sunny day. There are lots of ideas for indoors and outdoors, and no matter the weather!
Download The Way to Play ebook which is packed full of fun ideas from cover to cover, free of charge in our shop.
PlayBoard staff are delivering a number of webinars over the next few weeks. Click on the links below for more information and to book.
- A Summer of Play – Planning for Summer (Childcare Partnerships) – 25 May, 2, 9,15 June * fully booked *
- Summer of Play: Taking Play Seriously (Belfast City Council, BHSCT) – 1, 9, 15 June * fully booked * New date added – 22 June *
- Planning Essential Play Experiences for School Age Children (National Childhood Network) – 3 June
- Supporting Children’s Mental Health and Well-being through Play (National Childhood Network) – 10 June
- Fundraising Information Session – 14 June
- Summer of Play Outdoors – 16 June *fully booked*
- Leadership in School Age Childcare Services (National Childhood Network) – 24 June
- Summer of Play Workshops (EA Youth Service) – 21, 23 June, 28 June
Share your favourite summer activities
We want your help to collate the top 20 summer activities for a play challenge for children to try, during this summer of play. So, whether you are a parent, grandparent, carer, childminder, teacher, assistant, or playworker, we invite you to take part. Your top 20 can be your favourite memories from childhood or what you know children enjoy playing now.
Go to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PlayActivities to take part and select your favourites. It will only take a couple of minutes. Thank you!
Top play props and resources
Calling all playworkers, teachers, teaching assistants, childminders, parents/carers or anyone who works with children. We need your help – can you answer the questions below?
- What are your top play props?
- What other resources for play do you use to help create a play space to help facilitate children’s play?
If you would like to share your thoughts to help us create a list of the top play props and resources to share with others, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 11 June. Thank you!