Play events are taking place across the UK today to mark Playday, the UK-wide campaign celebrating children’s right to play. Thousands of children and families will be enjoying a day of fun at local and regional events.

This year, the campaign theme Playing on a shoestring – making every day an adventure, emphasises that children can enjoy high-quality, developmentally beneficial play opportunities at little or no cost.

  • Play is essential at all ages and stages of childhood, and is particularly important during times of crisis.
  • Play helps children and young people make sense of the world around them, deal with challenges, and build resilience.
  • Play is fun, enabling children and young people to make friends, blow off steam, and cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Play is vital for children and young people’s health, happiness, and skills development including creativity, imagination, and sense of adventure.

We are calling on everyone – parents, grandparents, carers, childcare providers and support staff across the UK to help make this Playday, and every day, an adventure!

Alan Herron, Chief Executive Officer, PlayBoard NI said:

“Each year, Playday offers an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the importance of play in children and young people’s lives, and how essential it is for their health, well-being and development. We are delighted to see events organised by local councils and settings taking place across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, along with our own fully-booked event in Ormeau Park, Belfast, offering a range of fun, inclusive play opportunities for children and young people of all abilities. We are grateful to have the support of the Mae Murray Foundation, Belfast City Council, Disability Sport NI and Bryson Energy Play Resource at our event.

With many families continuing to face financial pressures, our Playday campaign this year aims to offer reassurance to parents and carers that play does not need to be expensive. Children can enjoy play at little or no cost at home and in settings by offering a variety of simple opportunities and allowing the freedom to create, explore and imagine. We encourage families and communities to enjoy time together playing outdoors on 2 August, to help make this Playday, and every day, an adventure.”

Partnering with PlayBoard to celebrate Playday, Kyleigh Lough, Chief Executive Officer, Mae Murray Foundation said:

“We are delighted to work with PlayBoard NI to ensure that our Playday event is inclusive to people of all ages and abilities. Every child has the right to play and take part in their community. We have ensured that there is dignified toileting for all, that activities are suitable for everyone, and that parking is stress-free.”

Listen to PlayBoard Chief Executive, Alan Herron discussing Playday on the U105 Phone-In with Frank Mitchell on 2 August.

Listen back as Alan Herron shared ideas for playing on a shoestring on BBC 5 Live Drive on 2 August.

Lord Mayor Cllr Ryan Murphy and PlayBoard CEO, Alan Herron pictured with children at Playday in Ormeau Park.