During this worrying and uncertain time when we’re all experiencing many changes in our lives, it is important to remember that children still need time to play every day. Playing is an essential part of children’s lives helping them keep active, boosting their health and well-being, and is crucial for their learning and development.

Jacqueline O’Loughlin, Chief Executive, PlayBoard NI said, “With schools now closed and children spending more time at home parents are understandably worried about their children’s education, however we mustn’t lose sight of one of the most central elements of a child’s life – play. This is especially important during times of uncertainty when play can help children make sense of the world around them. It is through play that children develop many skills such as resilience and the ability to cope with life’s pressures, stresses and anxieties.

“Allowing children the freedom to decide their own play adventures enables them to draw on their own imaginations and creativity, such as turning everyday household items into dens, rockets, boats, or whatever their minds can visualise. Time spent at play is not wasted time but is continually contributing to the development of our children.

“Most importantly of course play is fun, it is a chance for children to let off steam and enjoy themselves. If possible and following government advice, spending time outside is also vital for children, helping them meet their daily activity needs. As parents we can help our children by providing opportunities for play, following their lead, and by bringing a playfulness to our everyday lives.”

We have collated a checklist of indoor play ideas and activities for children to try and will be sharing more ideas in the days ahead – view now and follow us on social media.