National Play Day

To play – engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation

Playday – the national day for play – took place on the first Wednesday in August. It was a celebration of children’s right to play, and a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives.

This year, the campaign theme was All to Play For, highlighting the importance of building play opportunities for all children. Play happens everywhere, every day, and is the right of every child and young person.

We’re calling for more play, better play, every day! Playday encourages families, communities, and organisations large and small, to consider how they can build better opportunities for all children to play. Following two years of restrictions across the UK and the challenges children and young people have faced, play is more important than ever!

Our flagship event was hosted by Gwealan Tops Adventure Playground in Redruth and Time 2 Move Holiday Programme Provider, where we saw over 90 children playing, having fun, learning, making friends, taking risks they managed themselves, being social and being physical activity non-stop… all without the direction of an adult! (Supervisors on site of course.)

We were also joined by Rewind Radio, who supported us in spreading the message throughout the day and getting involved by playing, dancing and supporting young people to interview and take photos of the event.

Cornwall Council members and officers were also given a tour and an opportunity to learn more about the power of play, Gwealan Tops and the Time 2 Move Holiday Programme so they can spread the message and think about how they could incorporate play into their areas of work.

Anita Grant, Chair of Trustees, Play England said

“We are proud to be supporting Playday this year with the theme ‘All to Play For’. It has never been more vital for children to get out and re-engage with their world.

We are encouraging everyone to get out and play. By playing, families will grow in confidence, re-engage with the environment, build resilience, recover from over two years of restriction and isolation, and improve mental health.”

Samantha Lawrence, Development Officer, Active Cornwall said:

The day was such a buzz. I saw children freely engaging with play that included dance, role play, exercise, skating, basketball, climbing, swinging, cycling, running, jumping, den building, creative play, plus relaxing, chatting, and making/eating healthy food. All without prompting from adults. All led by their own interests. And they were going non-stop for hours! We couldn’t help but join in and it was great to see adults relaxing enough to play themselves.

Physical activity is more than just about moving to maintain weight or a healthy physical body, it’s also about making friends, belonging to a like-minded community, feeling good about yourself, pushing boundaries, learning new skills, building confidence, learning to relax and so much more. And play is a great way to do this for children and adults a-like.”

On National Play Day alone, we saw over 1,000 children engage in Time 2 Move Holiday activities.

The Time 2 Move Holiday Programme continues throughout the summer and children can still book onto free and paid-for activities, from dancing and rock climbing, to multi-sport and yoga. On National Play Day alone, we saw over 1,000 children engage in Time 2 Move Holiday activities. This programme will happen again during the main school holidays, including Christmas so new providers are encouraged to contact the team if they wish to take part and support local children to experience the power of play.

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