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The national day for play in the UK Playday is an annual celebration of children’s right to play.

The next Playday is on Wednesday 7 August 2024

Playday was established in 1987 and takes place on the first Wednesday in August.

It is an ongoing campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives, focusing on a particular issue each year. Each year, Playday has a particular theme highlighting an issue or aspect of children’s play – for example:

  • encouraging everyone to give children more time and freedom to play
  • reclaiming the streets for children to be able to play safely outside their homes.

For information about previous campaigns, see the Playday website.

At Play Wales, Playday gives us a valuable annual opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of children’s play and the need for quality play provision. We use Playday to highlight that play is important and quality play provision is needed every day of the year in all areas of Wales.

Playday is coordinated by Play England, Play Scotland, PlayBoard Northern Ireland and Play Wales.


Playday 2023 theme

The theme for this year’s Playday was:

Playing on a shoestring – making every day an adventure

Play opportunities don’t need to involve expensive activities, costly toys, or trips to far-off destinations. It is often the simplest ideas, the free and found opportunities, which offer the most fun, and are the most developmentally beneficial for children and young people.

  • Play is essential at all ages and stages of childhood, and is particularly important during times of crisis.
  • Play helps children and young people make sense of the world around them, deal with challenges, and build resilience.
  • Play is fun, enabling children and young people to make friends, blow off steam, and cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Play is vital for children and young people’s health, happiness, and skills development including creativity, imagination, and sense of adventure.

Make this Playday, and every day, an adventure!

For the latest updates on this year’s campaign follow Playday on Facebook and Twitter and get involved using the hashtags #Playday2023 and #PlayingOnAShoestring.

Playful Childhoods

Play Wales’ Playful Childhoods campaign aims to help parents, carers and community groups provide more opportunities for children to play at home and in their neighbourhoods.

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