This year marks the UK’s 27th annual Playday: a day described as “a celebration of children’s right to play, and a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives”.
Playday occurs on the first Wednesday of August and was set up to celebrate play in childhood. Every year, children and their parents or carers across the country are encouraged to take part in a day of good old-fashioned playtime.
Play has been shown to be vital to a child’s development , and is also commonly viewed as being the essence of childhood. However, the rise of technology within modern society has, in recent years, raised concern as to whether children -and even adults– are getting enough time for ‘play’.
This year, numerous locally organised events will be running all over the UK, and a massive celebration is going to be held in Trafalgar Square, with thousands of children expected to attend.
The Playday website provides resources and advice to local communities as to how they can take part in the national day to celebrate play.
One organisation taking part in the day is Oxfordshire Play Association (OAP). Its reasons for taking part in the national celebration, as well as running its own play-days throughout the year, include:
- Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyles using a range of methods including play, sport, information and education;
- Encouraging a greater sense of Community Spirit at each location;
- Providing a vehicle for families to spend quality time together;
- Educating and demonstrating to parents and carers that good quality play can be achieved on a small budget by using natural and recycled materials.
Last year, the Oxfordshire Play Association saw over 2000 children and adults attending its event for Play Day 2013. Like other organisations of its kind, it brings together local children’s centres, councils, housing associations, libraries and community clubs (to name a few), to facilitate this day each year.
Playday is a triumph for building adult-child relationships, as well as bonds within the broader community; and as more children turn to technology for fun and fancy, the annual event has never been so important. Playday 2014 offers a perfect opportunity for seasoned players and newbies alike to get down to some serious fun. Find an event near you, or organise your own- and have a great Playday 2014!