What is Play?
The Welsh Government defines play as:
“A behaviour which is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. It is performed for no external goal or reward and is a fundamental and integral part of healthy development – not only for individual children, but also for the society in which they live.”
The Committee on the Rights of the Child, have identified several key characteristics of play: fun, uncertainty, challenge, flexibility and non-productivity.
Benefits of Play
Playing not only makes a crucial contribution to a child’s physical, mental, emotional and social development but it is also fun!
Play is important in the healthy development of a child’s brain. It allows them to use their senses to explore the world and figure out their role within it. By being curious children learn to understand cause and effect, conceptualize, exercise critical thinking skills, problem solve and learn how things fit together. Play also inspires children to pretend, create, and imagine.
Being active is critical for children’s physical development. It helps children improve their co-ordination, balance, gross-motor and fine-motor skills. It allows child to stay fit and healthy and helps them to understand what their bodies are capable of.
Play is also vital for social development because it helps children learn how to interact with others. By playing co-operatively children hone their social skills as they develop an understanding of social expectations and rules. It provides them with opportunities to learn how to share their thoughts and ideas, to listen, collaborate, compromise with others, recognise and respond to others’ feelings.
Additionally, play helps children understand and process their emotions and new concepts. They learn how to cope with their emotions and practice empathy and understanding. Playing helps children build confidence and sense of accomplishment, it can encourage the development of their identity and self-esteem.
The Carmarthenshire Play Team can support you in a variety of ways. We offer
- Play Training each term to all registered and non registered settings; school staff; parents and community groups. For play training opportunities please contact the Family Information Service on 01267 246555
- Playful ideas and signposting to playful activities and events.
- Advice on how to create a rich play environment for all ages, whether it’s at home or in school.
- Information on Play Policy and The Play Sufficiency Assessment.
- Advice and guidance and letters of support for funding applications.
Playful Childhoods Wales
Big Lottery Fund
Welsh Government Funding information
Natural Resources Funding information
Every Child Wales
Let Children Play
Children’s Commissioner Wales
Clybiau Plant Cymru
National Children’s Day
Child Safety Week
Carmarthenshire Forest Schools