The value of Play

childPlay is essential to children’s growth and development. It is their tool to learn about the world and come to an understanding of their own nature and capabilities. However, because it is a child’s most natural impulse and therefore not necessarily requiring adult intervention or support, this most fundamental and vital part of growing up has been increasingly taken for granted. Modern living, particularly in large cities, presents a significant range of obstacles to this essential childhood experience. There is now an urgent need for a serious investment of resources to provide our children with the environments, the opportunities, the access and the support to play. Some children face greater obstacles than others do and, in being excluded or denied this basic right, lose part of their childhood. Consequently, they suffer – emotionally, socially and educationally. Play and recreation are a right of any child, as in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child.

Play – a definition

For the project Re-play, we use the following definition: play is what children and young people do when they follow their own ideas and interests in their own way and for their own reasons. Definition: The UNCRC Handbook (2007) describes play as possibly, “the most interesting (of the group of concepts) in terms of childhood in that it includes activities of children which are not controlled by adults”. Sport and play: Play is more than sport. Sport depends on active play. Play can include movement and unstructured sport activities.