Fair Play for Children Online Library — Children’s Play


From JSTOR keywords search ‘Children’s’ AND ‘Play’

From Google Search = “Children’s Play Research”

Scholarly articles for children’s play research developments and practical applications

Children’s play: Research developments and practical — ‎Smith

children’s play research journals

International Journal of Play

International Journal of Play Therapy

American Journal of Play

Video — see below

Papers and articles

A New Report Shows The Impact Of Pandemic Playtime On American Kids

Access to play spaces ‘unfair’ and ‘unequal’, finds new research

Adventure Playgrounds and postwar reconstruction


Adventure Playgrounds — an Introduction

Seminal guide published in the 1984, 2nd edition published 2007

Harry Shier — National Playing Fields Association — 0 946085 012 Download PDF

Bombsites and Playgrounds: Postwar Britain’s Ruined Landscapes

Ben Highmore 2013, Cultural Politics 14 Pages 1 File ▾

Cultural Studies, Children’s Play, Post War British History


Issue: 3 Volume: 9 Page Numbers: 323–336 Publication Date: 2013

Publication Name: Cultural Politics

This essay argues that bombsites in Britain were a vivid component of a social imaginary that informed the postwar social settlement. Postwar reconstruction, which often involved additional demolition, also produced ruined landscapes that were complexly associated with war damage. The bombsite–demolition site as an accidental or …read more

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Bromley Play Strategy

Strategy paper 2007

  • London Borough Bromley -





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Children’s Play Review: Feedback to children and young people

This report gives feedback to children and young people about a review of children’s play. The review looked at how best to spend £200 million from the National Lottery on improving children’s play opportunities. (The report says that the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) will manage how the money is spent. Since the review took place, the Government has decided to replace NOF with a new body). The money was pledged in June 2001. The review took place between October 2002 and April 2003. It was UK-wide and covered children and young people aged 0 â?? 16 so the review looked at older young people as well as younger children, even though they may not use the word â??playâ?? to describe things they might want to do. Frank Dobson MP led the review. His full report was published on 21 January 2004 and it makes recommendations to Government about how Lottery money on play should be spent.

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Children’s Right to Play -

This working paper focuses on play as a discrete element of Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Summarizing a wealth of contemporary research, the authors discuss in depth, the nature and benefits of children?s play, urging State Parties and adults in general to recognize, respect and promote play as a right of every child. Through play, children create a world in which they are in control for that moment, helping them develop an array of flexible responses to situations that they create and encounter. Children can create their own self-protection through play and it allows them to rearrange their worlds so that they are less frightening or less boring; transforming structures and crossing borders. Play contributes to many adaptive systems that positively affect health, well-being and resilience. Such systems include; pleasure, emotion regulation, stress response, attachments, learning and creativity.

By Stuart Lester and Wendy Russell — Early Childhood-related SAS Resources and Information -

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Children’s screen use and school readiness at 4–6 years: prospective cohort study — BMC Public…

Children’s Outdoor Charter of Rights

Every child in the UK has the developmental right to spend time enjoying and exploring the wonders of the natural world.

- Save Childhood Movement -

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Children’s tree swings — A guide to good practice

A good practice guide to the safe siting, installation and use of children?s rope swings in trees. The guide is intended to help outdoor playworkers to manage the risks — and benefits — associated with rope swings, and to provide practical advice on how to install them effectively.

- London Play etc -

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Children who play more video games show greater gains in intelligence over time, study finds

Cognitive Characteristics of Handicapped Children’s Play: A Review

Although play is generally considered an important learning medium for young normally developing children, its value as a learning medium for young handicapped children has been less fully appreciated. Early research may not have portrayed handicapped children’s play skills accurately, because many of the studies were carried out with institutionalized subjects. This paper reviews recent research on the development of play skills in young handicapped children, focusing on developmental patterns in various handicapped groups, areas of deficit, and implications for intervention.

Sally J. King — Journal of Early Intervention -

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COVID-19 and Playwork — A Longitudinal Study

The following six research papers can be accessed free and charts how playwork practice (adventure playgrounds, after-school clubs, holiday playschemes and mobile play provision) have coped from the first March 2020 lockdown, the re-opening of playwork settings in July 2020, and one year on in July 2021.


Crawley Adventure Playground Report 1955

A wonderful look back into the very early days of Adventure Play in Britain, a report from 1955, one year after it opened. There are things which will cause health-and-safety nightmares (days of innocence indeed) but the spirit of play in the community shines through. Lessons for today? Read on ….

- Crawley Adventure Playgorund Committee -

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Differences in Children’s Construction of Gender Across Culture : An Interpretive Approach

The authors examine gender segregation and cross-sex play in a comparative perspective. Although some level of gender segregation seems to be a universal feature in children?s play, taking an interpretive view, it was found that children in some peer cultures emphasize gender differences and ritualize cross-sex interactions and in other cultures, children seldom enforce gender boundaries

Hilary Aydt and William A. Corsaro — www.sagepublications.com -

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Expenditure by English Local Authorities in 2009–10, 2010–11 and 2011–12: including on Children’s Play and Youth Services

FoI research by Fair Play for Children showed disproportionate cuts to children’s play and youth services compared to adult recreation and leisure


Fair Play for Children submits evidence to the All Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs

Fair Play’s evidence in 2018 to the All Parliamentary Group Inquiry re Youth Services Jan Cosgrove — Fair Play for Children -

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Frustration with Video Games Leads to Aggressive Behavior

Researchers from the University of Rochester developed a study to learn more about the psychological effects of video games, focusing on the user experience rather than the content of the games. They tested a motivational hypothesis based on self-determination theory: the amount of aggression associated with gaming would be directly tied to the degree the games impeded the psychological need for competence. In other words, the more a person failed at mastering a game, the more aggressive he or she might feel.


Game reduces hyperactivity and delinquent behavior in children

A game that encourages good behavior, positive reinforcement and self-regulation can keep children on task and out of trouble, according to researchers at the University of Georgia and Pennsylvania State University.


Getting Serious About Play

2001: This report sets out how best to invest the £200 million from the New Opportunities Fund, pledged in June 2001, for improving children?s play opportunities. It is the result of an eight month review that involved extensive consultation, commissioned research and drew on evidence from existing sources. * It looked at the needs of children and young people aged from 0–16. While the review process covered the whole of the UK, the report?s conclusions and recommendations are specific to England. It is for the devolved administrations to draw upon the review as they think fit.

Department for Culture Media & Sport — -

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Hackney Play Streets Evaluation

Sets out findings of an evaluation of a Play Streets programme run by Hackney Play Association on behalf of LB Hackney Council’s Get Hackney Healthy (GHH) Board. READ/DOWNLOAD PDF

Health and Safety Inspection Checklist Playground Maintenance (Australia)

Fixed equipment checklist

- unknown -

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How to manage risk in play provision

Children need to take risks when they play.

Robin Sutcliffe Tim Gill — Play Safety Forum, UK -

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Improving reading skills through action video games

Is Children?s Play Innate?

Ellen Crain, an emergency room pediatrician, observes that young children play in the E.R. even when they are fairly sick. For example, young children with acute asthma nevertheless play with the toys in the waiting room or the equipment in the examining room. Ellen has been so impressed by the children?s behavior that she wonders if the need to play is innate. Ellen?s question takes on urgency today. Education policy makers act as if play is frivolous ? as if we needn?t make room for it.

Ellen Crain — ENCOUNTER: Education for Meaning and Social Justice -

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Is today’s society supporting the child’s right to play or are today’s children suffering from play deficits?

In order to begin a discussion regarding play and child development it is important to develop an understanding of what is meant by the term play. It is generally accepted that play is what a child does. It is his work. Children of all cultures and socio economic groups engage in play experiences in which the process is the same although the materials, environment and outcome may be different.

Yvonne Kiefert Adebar — -

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ISSER explores merits of play-based learning in new study



This paper should be read in conjunction with the â??A Personal List Of Events And Evolving Understanding That Have Led Playwork To Where It Is Todayâ?? and â??The playwork matrixâ??

- Mick Conway, Bob Hughes, Gordon Sturrock, March 2004 -

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More references to work by Mick Conway, Google Search — LINK

Learning through play

Children learn through play. As they play, children try things out, test what they know, practise new skills and get better at them. They learn who they are (identity), how to get along with others (community), how to look after themselves and others (wellbeing), how to think (learn), and communicate- these are sometimes described as children developing social, emotional, thinking and physical skills. Here’s an example of what children’s play looks like.

Victoria Department of Education & Early Childhood Development


Let the children play: Nature’s answer to early learning

Play enhances every aspect of children’s development and learning. It is children’s window to the world. Play is so important that its significance in children’s lives is recognized by the United Nations as a specific right in addition to, and distinct from, a child’s right to recreation and leisure. However, children’s children’s opportunities for play and their access to play environments is changing.

- Canadian Council on Learning -

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No ball games here (or shopping, playing or talking to the neighbours)

To mark Living Streets 80th anniversary, we commissioned new research, spanning the ways different generations have made use of our streets. By speaking to parents of 5–10 year old children who are currently aged 30–40, and asking the same questions of today’s pensioners who have grown-up children themselves, we have built up a picture of how the function and feeling of our streets has changed over three generations.

- Living Streets -

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Save The Children


Open Streets Toolkit

Streets could be much more than they are. By embracing the concept of Open Streets, we can all create shared spaces that embody respect, and help bridge the social and spatial divides of our city — Cape Town and Bogota


Outdoor Sports Provision and Children’s Playing Space

When mapping the distance thresholds and catchment zones for outdoor sports provision and provision for children and young people the National Playing Fields Association standards were used. This meant that certain sites identified in the green space audit could not be used, such as the Saffron Walden Golf Course as golf courses are excluded in the NPFA standards. Also where possible sites with multi uses such as outdoor sports sites with separate children?s playgrounds have been split. This was only possible where the base map showed he children?s playground as a separate block.

- Fields in Trust -

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Pain, pain go away, help our children run and play

Pain management techniques for young children

University of South Australia



A global study on play asked children aged 7–12 a series of paired-choice questions in an attempt to figure out what they would rather do ? watch TV or play with their friends or parents.

- IKEA -

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Under-fives who are walking should be physically active for at least three hours per day ? about 25 per cent of waking time

- www.infantandtoddlerforum.org -

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Planning for Play

The Government is committed to protecting playing fields wherever possible and to boosting the opportunities that young people have to participate in sport. 2001 — Department for Culture, Media and Sport -

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Play England An economic evaluation of play provision Final report September 2010

The objective of this research was to generate economic evidence of the benefits of staffed play provision. Two specific forms of play provision were evaluated: adventure playgrounds and after school play clubs. The economic value of these forms of play provision was assessed by undertaking cost-benefit analysis (CBA). The CBA compared the costs of providing the interventions with their benefits in terms of health and educational outcomes. The CBA answered the following two questions:

• What is the economic value (£) of an adventure playground, compared with no playground?

  • What is the economic value (£) of an after school club staffed with qualified play personnel, compared with an after school play club not staffed with qualified play personnel?


The Playground Playbook

Feeling left out of playground fun hurts! However, getting into groups or ?pickup games? (which are games created spontaneously by players who form the teams, make the rules, and referee the acti on themselves) takes speci? c skills and know how.
Todd J. Rosenthal DOWNLOAD


In mid 2008, the Department commissioned SQW Consulting and Ipsos MORI to carry out a national evaluation of the Play Pathfinder and Play Builder programmes over the period 2008 to 2011. The purpose of the evaluation is to understand the impact of the Government?s play investment on children and parents’ satisfaction and use of play spaces, as well as wider outcomes linked to children’s health and well-being, and impacts on local communities.

Dr Sue Rogers and Dr Caroline Pelletier, Alison Clark — DCSF -

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Play in the Childrens Plan

Summary of the key issues relating to Play in the UK Government’s Childrens Plan

- Play England -

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Play Report — International Summary of Research Reports

· IKEA has undertaken a major research-driven project to investigate the subjects of children’s development and play. · Survey fieldwork was carried out online in 25 countries by Research Now, London. Family Kids and Youth partnered with IKEA to design the questionnaire, analyse the results and provide an overview of child development and background to the importance of play.

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Play Report International

Results of survey carried out in several countries by IKEA examining attitudes to children’s play. A unique undertaking. Crucial reading for all who work with children in formal and informal settings.

Family Kids and Youth — IKEA -
Play Streets Evaluation Report, Hackney 2015

One of the pioneer projects of this kind LINK HERE

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Play Wales’ Response to the Child Poverty Strategy for Wales Consultation

The innovative Foundation Phase curriculum recognises that children’s individual learning journeys are best supported by play because of the way play starts with the child and fosters a growing sense of confidence and esteem. As children spend a substantial proportion of their time in school, the professional play practice of teachers and learning assistants is pivotal in reducing the effects of inequality.

- Play Wales -

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Playing Fields Statistics

Stats for English Playing Fields, 1999–2000 and 2000–2001

- Sports England -

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During recent years it has become evident that sport is not always a safe space for children, and that the same types of violence and abuse sometimes found in families and communities can also occur in sport and play programmes. Child athletes are rarely consulted about their sporting experiences, and awareness of and education on child protection issues among sport teachers, coaches and other stakeholders is too often lacking.

- UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre — ISBN: 978–88–89129–96–8 ISSN: 1028–3528

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This study into the public play provision for children with disabilities has been carried out by Sugradh. The research is funded under the NDA Research Promotion Scheme. This scheme was established to facilitate disability groups and community & voluntary organisations working on disability issues to undertake research. The scheme aims to build the research capacity of such groups; to broaden and deepen knowledge of specific disability issues; and to inform policy makers and service deliverers of disability needs and issues. The NDA is committed to research using

Richard Webb — Sugradh ? Celebrating the Child?s Right to Play -

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Public Playground Safety Handbook

In recent years, it is estimated that there were more than 156,000 injuries annually on public playgrounds across the country that required emergency room treatment. By following the recommended guidelines in this handbook, you and your community can create a safer playground environment for all children and contribute to the reduction of playground-related deaths and injuries.

- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission -

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Scottish Planning Policy 11 — Physical Activity and Open Space Consultation

Play Scotland’s response

- Play Scotland -

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Secured by Design

The following checklist highlights design and management features which need to be included in the planning of play areas and in their design and construction which will help reduce opportunity for their use in crime and anti-social behaviour.

- Secured by Design -

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State of Play Report Summary

A report into the future of UK play provision and the Playbuilder legacy (2008–2011)

- API -

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Study Finds No Ties Between Youth Tackle Football, Brain/Behavioral Issues

Study shows children’s physical activity levels fell below national guidelines in wake of pandemic

The Case for Play

Kellock Peter — Playground Ideas -

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The Case for Play

Today over 90% of the world’s primary age children attend school. But sadly for many children across the globe, the education they are receiving is failing to equip them with even the most basic skills. In some parts of the world up to two-thirds of children are failing to reach the minimum benchmarks of learning.

- Playground Ideas -

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On no other educational or child development issue is the body of evidence clearer ? play is essential to the healthy development of children and to their adaptation to their culture, society and world. Beginning with the practices and views of the great reformers of the pre-twentieth century era, and continuing through decades of scholarly research, the conclusions have been consistently pro-play.

Joe L. Frost — University of Texas -

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The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the enculturative function of children?s toys and games in ancient Greece and Rome. Children?s play has been shown to affect their development on many different levels including cognitive, behavioral, and psychological. Play is also one method through which cultures work to enculturate children. Enculturation is the process by which cultural values and behaviors are transmitted from adults to children.

Jaime Marie Layne — -

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The Good Play Space Guide: “I can play too”?

The purpose of this guide is to examine the reasons why play spaces can limit access to some children and identify how improvements can be made to increase participation by all children in play.

- Sport and Recreation Victoria, Australia -

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The Good Play Space Guide: I Can Play Too

A resource which will assist in understanding accessibility in play spaces, and guide the planning, design, construction, maintenance and management of play spaces. It will be a valuable resource for all organisations committed to inclusive sport and recreation environments for people of all abilities.

- Victoria State Government, Australia — 1–39781921331–00–8

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The Importance of Play

A Report on the subject with a series of policy recommendations

Dr David Whitbread and others — Toy Industries of Europe -

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The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds

This report offers guidelines on how pediatricians can advocate for children by helping families, school systems, and communities consider how best to ensure that play is protected as they seek the balance in childrenâ??s lives to create the optimal developmental milieu.

- American Acadamy of Paediatrics -

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The Playground Playbook

Feeling left out of playground fun hurts! However, getting into groups or ?pickup games? (which are games created spontaneously by players who form the teams, make the rules, and referee the action themselves) takes speci?c skills and know how. There are common problems that kids experience. To answer the needs of such children I?ve written The Playground Playbook. In it I?ve described ways that can be used by kids of various skill levels to overcome many basic game and group related di?culties.

Todd Rosenthal — -

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The provision of play in health service delivery
Fulfilling children’s rights under Article 31 of the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

A literature review Summary overview National Association of Health Play Specialists


The relationship between play levels and sibling status: Only versus second birth order children.

This study examines the play levels of children who have older siblings compared to children who do not have any siblings.

Benjamin King — ProQuest -

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The Role of Play in Children’s Palliative Care

Play is the universal language of childhood and the time and opportunity to play is every child?s right. The role of play as a vehicle for communication, a tool for distraction and its value in the holistic development of a normal child is without dispute. The role and value of play increase proportionately when a child is made more vulnerable through illness or disability. Despite this, providing time and opportunities to play can be overlooked or considered to be of little importance or relevance when the focus of the adult carers is the amelioration of clinical symptoms of the illness and on lessening the psychological impact the illness may have on the child.

Sue Boucher, Julia Downing and Rise Shemilt — Children 2014 — ISSN 2227–9067

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Time for Play

UK Government publication about encouraging opportunities for Play

- Department for Culture Media and Sport -

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Time for Play

The focus of this document is on Government action to encourage the promotion of greater play opportunities for children and young people. It concentrates on the importance of play, as well as some of the key issues relating to it. August 2006

  • Dept Media Culture Sport -

Too hot to play! Childhood obesity and inactivity increasing because of climate change

Kids today are nearly a third less aerobically fit than their parents at the same age and one researcher says it could be because of climate change.

Scientists say that record highs of obesity and physical inactivity among children leave many struggling to regulate their body temperature in heat, leading them to do less exercise. Environmental physiologist Dr. Shawnda Morrison is sounding the alarm in a comprehensive review of studies on this topic.

Study Finds


“Unclaimed Territory”: Childhood and Disordered Spaces(s)

Paul Cloke & Owain Jones

School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road,Bristol BS8 1SS, UK

This paper explores adult discourses in literary references which revolve around therelationship between childhood and disordered space. This association is oftenconstructed as a positive expression of the romantic innocence of childhood and nature,but it can also be construed as negative in cases where ‘little devils’ are let loose inhazardous urban settings. The complex dynamics of disorder relating to childhood arediscussed in terms of the disorders both of nature and of injustice. The paper argues that childhood needs to be conceptualized less in terms of innocence and more in terms of otherness.Disorderedspacesintheseterms representterritoriesofbecoming-other,whererhizomatic scrambling of adult-ordered striated space makes room for upwellings of theimmanent othernesses of children


Understanding Children’s Play

Parents, teachers, and others who deal with young children have an important role to play in these years. In the promotion of good mental health, it is essential that we help them to acquire insight into the child’s emotional needs and the exigencies of his adjustment to life as he learns to understand himself and find his way in the world.

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Virtual worlds as a site of convergence for children’s play

Virtual worlds have made notable inroads into the lives of children, affording online extensions of their offline lives In this article, we propose a conceptual framework for understanding the space that virtual worlds occupy in children?s play and the ways in which children?s participation in them overlap with their everyday play experiences, both offline and mediated. We argue that virtual worlds can be viewed as sites of convergence for children?s play in that virtual worlds allow for almost all aspects of children?s play to converge, primarily manifested in the convergence of social spheres, the convergence of play spaces and playthings, the convergence of cultures and the convergence of learning experiences. we explain how such convergence, while presenting valuable opportunities for children to learn and develop, will not be fully exploited without a corresponding ability on the part of parents and children to recognise potential risks; and for parents and educators to scaffold these learning opportunities.

Sun Sun Lim, Lynn Schofield Clark — Journal of Virtual Worlds Research -

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Waveney Play Strategy

Play Strategy of Waveney District Council August 2008

- Waveney DC -

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‘We can play tag with a stick’. Children’s knowledge, experiences, feelings and creative thinking during the COVID-19 pandemic


What is play therapy? Benefits for children and adults

What Is Playwork Under Neoliberalism?

Playwork’s instrumental value can be articulated in terms of its ability to offer the children the conditions for playful experiences they would not have elsewhere, and all the benefits this has for children both in the here and now and in the future. It can also be articulated in terms of addressing social policy agendas such as anti-social behavior, skills development, physical activity and so on. Yet, these instrumental outcomes can only be ethically claimed if understood as part of the overall assemblage that is a playwork setting:

Whole athlete: Adults who played sports as a child have higher levels of grit

Wiltshire Play Strategy

as stated

- Wiltshire County Council -

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Young children do better at school if their dads play with them regularly, study finds

‘Play Ranger Project’ A Play Service for Stafford District Through a Community Cohesion Approach

This research has been compiled from a two year Play Ranger project carried out by a partnership of S&Y Social Enterprise, The Signpost Centre Stafford and King Edward V1 Community & Learning Partnership (C&LP). The work was commissioned by The Children?s Fund.

- Staffordshire County Council -

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Video reports

Hop Skip and Jump

BBC documentary about Play

Part 1 LINK

Part 2 LINK

Value of Play

Siskin Institute




National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online

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Jan Cosgrove

Jan Cosgrove


National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online