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Come out and play

7 July 2014
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Forster has been working with several clients who recognise the importance of play in the lives of children. Intriguingly, some of these organisations you wouldn’t ordinarily associate with the light-heartedness of play. In the common knowledge that play is not what it used to be, they’re all coming at it from different angles, too.

Is it really up to government to do more to promote child-led as well as adult-led play? The Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) believes it is.  We’ve been providing strategic communications consultancy and support to PACEYfor the past 3 years. Raising awareness of PACEY’s School Ready campaign, we’ve learned that the necessary tools and expertise for creating more opportunities for play are already in the sector. So, Mr Osborne, it isn’t about money!  It is about communicating the importance of play via policy, best practice sharing, qualifications and training.

If most people don’t associate The Ramblers with the concept of play, never mind children, they might need to think again. Working from evidence that nature phobia is increasing among British children, The Ramblers want to get more kids going free-range in our parks, countryside and open spaces.  Let’s face it, if we don’t introduce a new generation to the freedom and joys of outdoor play, technology will truly become the be-all-and-end-all of their lives. The components of play—curiosity, discovery, novelty, risk-taking, trial and error, pretense, games, social etiquette, and other increasingly complex adaptive activities—are the same as the components of learning.

The NSPCC is associated with STOP and being against bad behaviour towards children. So, getting the opportunity to work with them on Bring Back Play was both refreshing and inspiring.  Telling moving stories about play practitioners and the children they have helped linked so well to a fun fundraising activity that anyone can get involved in.  Such a simple premise – linking an important service that genuinely changes lives.

Ultimately, play changes lives. For the simple reason that it teaches us to co-operate with others.