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Playday, play every day

2013 August 8

Yesterday was Playday 2013, a national celebration of play devoted to encouraging and promoting play for children. This year it was focused on play spaces and playing out in the great outdoors. How many of you played outside yesterday? Did it depend on the weather – too hot, too cold, too sunny, too rainy? Did it depend on whether you had ‘somewhere to go’ to play? Do you have an outdoor playspace near you?

Children today are often limited to sanitised parks and playgrounds, gardens with lawns and patios, discouraged from grubbing around in the dirt or rolling around on grass, climbing trees or picking flowers. Sometimes nannies (and childminder and parents too!) need to think outside the box a little, and make the most of the flexibility home based care affords.

You can find outdoor play spaces on the Woodland Trust website or via Fields In Trust or get involved in Groundwork’s initiatives in your area.

Once you’re there, what can you do? In a field you can run, jump, turn somersaults or cartwheels or have a wheelbarrow race. In a forest you can play hide and seek, climb a tree, make a den. Near a pond, lake or stream you can hunt for pond life, make a mud pie and lean how to skim stones across the water. On a beach you can paddle, fish for shrimps or crabs, make sandcastles. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining – if it’s warm just wear a t-shirt and shorts and take a towel and a change of clothes because everyone should get soaked through having fun at least once in their life!

And if you need some more ideas, the National Trust has 50 things you absolutely need to do and our Pinterest boards have ideas for outdoor fun, sensory play, games and activities and some practical tips and tricks too!

Play today, play every day!

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