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From the earliest days of a child’s life, interaction and stimulus from their parent or carer is crucial to physical, mental, emotional, social and creative development. Playing and interacting with children from birth, and ensuring access to play for toddlers and children, enables them to develop important physical and motor skills. In the early years, learning cannot be separated from physical play and movement – it is critical to how children learn to navigate and interact with the physical world and with other people.

Outdoor play

The benefits of outdoor play:

  • Develops children’s self-confidence and resilience 
  • Helps children learn to make friends and get along with people 
  • Develops children’s common sense, understanding of the world and how it works 
  • Important for physical fitness and good mental health

Professionals can encourage outdoor play through:

  • Send out information through the schools to help parents reinstate outdoor play 
  • Start ‘greening' our urban environments so they're more fun to play in
  • Promote traffic calming measures in residential areas 
  • Set up ‘Home Zones' where people (especially children) come before cars 
  • Commission a public information campaign about the importance of play 
  • Setting clear boundaries, and help them understand where it is safe to play and why.