PlayDay is the national day for play, traditionally held on the first Wednesday in August. It is the biggest play sector event in the UK, and possibly Europe! As well as a celebration of children’s right to play, PlayDay is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives. PlayDay is coordinated by Play England, in partnership with Play Wales, Play Scotland and Play Board Northern Ireland.
Back in 1986, rumours were rife of imminent cuts on school-based play centres and adventure playgrounds in London. In response, a group of “Playworkers” called a meeting to see what they could do and PlayDay was born. The initial aim was to raise the profile of play and alert people locally to the potential loss of services.
PlayDay grew to around a dozen events in London by 1989, growing nationally in 1991 and now the biggest celebration of children’s play in the UK. Last year communities across the UK celebrated PlayDay at more than 850 events. Nearly thirty years later, PlayDay again provides an opportunity for the play sector to raise awareness about the importance of play in children’s lives.
What happens on PlayDay?
To celebrate PlayDay families are encouraged to get out and play across hundreds of community events around the UK. These events range from street parties, park festivals, woodland adventures, field days and beach parties. From small-scale events to thousands of children taking part in events organised in parks and open spaces; PlayDay is celebrated by each community in a way that suits them.
Campaigning for play
As well as a celebration, PlayDay is an opportunity to campaign on issues affecting children’s play; calling on everyone to show why play is fundamental for children’s enjoyment of childhood, and vital for their health, well-being and development.
To find out more about PlayDay 2016 and how you and your family can join in visit the official website www.playday.org.uk
or check their Facebook page
to get involved.