The spread of Covid-19 has hit everyone hard. Parents and carers are facing a worrying time as schools and activities, that normally keep their children active, are closed. Despite this children still need and want to play. Until the threat of Covid-19 passes, playing will need to be mostly inside or if outside, following the most up to date Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidance around social distancing.
Having the opportunity to play is essential for a child’s social, physical and emotional development. It allows them to explore, learn about their world and feel happy. Also, being up and about when playing burns energy and can help children stay fit and healthy in to later life. Making sure there is time, space and freedom to play is a great way of making sure everyone is moving around and having fun. The guide by Play Wales will help parents to make sense of the new government guidelines and provide them with some practical play ideas to try out with their children.
Marianne Mannello from Play Wales said “Every child has the right to play. Playing helps children explore, learn and have fun. This guide has been developed to support children to have time, space and freedom to play actively – no matter what is happening in the wider world.”
Children across Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr and Bridgend love to play, and whilst they may not be able to participate in their usual play routines for a few weeks, there is still so much that they can do.
Claire Beynon, Consultant in Public Health, said: “We know that play is good for children, their well-being and brain development. More importantly, play will help children find a sense of normality during a time of isolation and being away from friends and extended family.”
Play Wales has also developed a website – Playful Childhoods – to provide practical tips and ideas for parents and carers to give children time, space and support to play. The resources are also useful for those working with children and their families. The website now includes plenty of indoor play ideas.
The Play Wales report can be found here: Playing actively in and around the home.
Also, don’t forget about the health board’s children’s art competition for youngsters aged up to 17 years of age. The deadline for entries is May 31st and you can enter here.