Projects and campaigns
An overview of our projects and campaigns to support children’s right to play in Wales.
To champion children’s play in Wales, we develop and deliver a range of projects and campaigns that:
- raise awareness of the importance of play in children’s lives
- advocate for children’s right to play
- show best practice
- explore the possibility of replicating particular examples in other areas of Wales.
Some of our projects and campaigns are ongoing. Others are shorter term. They can be dependent on funding.
On some projects, we work in partnership with other organisations. We are also occasionally funded or contracted to carry out projects on behalf of our partner organisations. But, however our projects and campaigns are set up, they always support children’s opportunities to play.
Here are examples of some of our current and recent campaigns and projects.
Playful Childhoods (2018 onwards)
Playful Childhoods is a campaign that aims to help parents, carers and community groups support children’s play. It highlights the importance of making sure children have the time, space and support they need to be able to play at home and in their neighbourhood. We created the campaign so that:
- parents can give their children opportunities to play
- parents can feel confident about letting their children play outside in their community
- playful communities for children can develop across Wales
- all adults across Wales can develop aa shared understanding of the importance of play for children and teenagers.
The campaign has its own website full of useful resources for people working with children and families.
We promote the Playful Childhoods website to parents and those who work with children and families all year round. From time to time, we also run short-term targeted campaigns. These raise the profile of Playful Childhoods and bring particular issues to the attention of both the target audience and the media.
Our short-term campaigns are developed with input from children and parents right across Wales. We are grateful to our partner organisations across Wales who work with us to deliver these campaigns. Some recent examples of these short-term campaigns include:
- Time to Play (Summer 2022) – a campaign that gives parents and carers the encouragement and support to give their children more time to play
- ‘When I was your age’ (Spring 2022) – a campaign that challenges assumptions about the behaviour of teenagers in public spaces.
The development of the Playful Childhoods website was funded by the Transform Foundation.
Play Ambassadors Project (2019-2023)
Community Play Ambassadors is a project which took place across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. It included working with local people to establish Neighbourhood Play Forums that would identify ways of encouraging regular opportunities for children to play.
The project also supported young people aged 14 to 19 in becoming volunteer Community Play Ambassadors. It did this by offering training, qualifications and placements in playwork settings.
To make this happen, we worked in partnership with:
- Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales
- Cardiff Children’s Play Services
- Cardiff and Vale University Health Board/Public Health Wales Local Public Health team
- Vale of Glamorgan Sport and Play Development team.
We hope the lessons we learned through the project will help us develop similar projects in other areas in the future.
This project was funded through the Healthy and Active Fund (HAF).
Right to play storybooks (2019-2023)
We have published three children’s storybooks that celebrate children’s right to play. All three books, Fun in the dungeon, Fun in the garden, and Fun in the playground, have been developed in partnership with an established community-based publisher.
Story writing groups were formed, made up of children, parents and staff working with children. They were supported by an author and poet to help develop each of the storybooks. Their ideas were shared with our illustrator, who brought their stories to life with his playful cartoons.
The storybooks capture how important supportive and tolerant adults and environments are in helping children enjoy their right to play.
We currently only have copies of Fun in the playground available. If you would like to order a free copy, please email us.
As part of an ongoing research collaboration, we worked with the HAPPEN and ACTIVE research projects based at Swansea University to develop the RPlace app.
This app helps children and teenagers get involved in mapping their communities. It lets them:
- upload photos
- add locations
of places where they want to see change happen. Children and teenagers can share their thoughts about what they like and dislike about where they live, play and go with their friends. They can also give their opinion about what needs to improve.
Work with local health boards
We have worked with a number of local health boards, including Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan, and the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Public Health team. With them we researched and piloted play streets and the use of school grounds for playing. This included:
- supporting local authorities as they have considered introducing play streets programmes
- working with organisations to close local streets for a limited time to enable communities to try out play streets
- working with schools to carry out an analysis of the different options for facilitating after school play
- securing funding to provide storage and equipment for after school play.
We also worked with Aneurin Bevan Gwent Public Health Team to raise awareness of the importance of play. We did this by delivering professional learning events, including:
- A webinar about play and public health
- A webinar about supporting parents to understand play
- A webinar about understanding play sufficiency
- Regional workshops about using school grounds for play outside school hours.