2021 Media Release

Give children a Summer of Play

Today, thousands of children and their families will be out playing in communities and at local events across the UK, celebrating Playday – the national day for play.

Over the past year and a half, children have faced challenges and uncertainty – they need to enjoy time for play free of restrictions, with their friends, having fun. Recognising the importance of children’s play and supporting children to play, on Playday and every day, is more important than ever.

Whilst Playday is the national day for play in the UK, this year we are encouraging families, carers, and communities to help children enjoy a Summer of Play

  • Playing is essential for children’s mental health and well-being. 
  • Playing helps children cope with stress and anxiety and fosters resilience, enabling children to better deal with challenges.
  • Playing gives children the opportunity to have fun, laugh, take time out, relax, and build friendships.
  • Playing outside allows children to appreciate nature, the environment, and feel part of their community.
  • Playing is fundamental to children’s happiness, and happy children lead to happier communities.

We are calling on families, carers, and communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to give children plenty of opportunities to play and have fun outdoors with their friends today and throughout the summer.

Anita Grant, Chair of Trustees, Play England said:

“Play England has been inspired by the children’s sector and their commitment to play throughout the pandemic. Children have been restricted and isolated like never before. Playday is the coming together of all four nations in the UK to really put children first and ensure they get access to #funfriendsfreedom and we invite everyone to sign the pledge and join us for a whole Summer of Play at www.summerofplay.co.uk.”

Marguerite Hunter Blair, Chief Executive Officer, Play Scotland said:

“Play Scotland is thrilled to support Playday and we are launching our Play Well Outdoors pack in Scotland with our partners Save the Children and the Beano. The focus in Scotland is encouraging families to Get into Summer and to enjoy a #summerofplay. This year more than ever we need to encourage children and families to have a summer full of outdoor play and fun, it’s so good for everyone!”

Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales said:

“This year’s Playday may be different to the previous years but children and teenagers still want and need the chance and freedom to play. As a society, in a time of crisis, we need more than ever, to recognise and value that every child has a right to play – on Playday and every day of the year. Join us today and throughout the school holidays to give children a Summer of Play. The more voices that call together with us to uphold children’s right to play, the louder and stronger our message will be.

In one of Wales’ biggest treasure hunts we, along with our partners, have hidden 3000 Storybook Packs across the country to encourage children and their families to go outside to play and have fun in their community. Check our social media pages for more information and for clues on where to find the treasure!”

Jacqueline O’ Loughlin, Chief Executive Officer, PlayBoard NI said:

“This year’s Playday takes place during our Summer of Play. We hope families and communities across the UK are getting involved in the campaign and creating opportunities for children and young people to enjoy time to play, to relax and to spend time with their friends. Celebrating every child’s right to play is even more important this year given the challenges children have faced, so we encourage everyone to join in the day of fun on 4 August!”


For more information, please contact:

  • Play England’s Chair of Trustees, Anita Grant – 020 7607 9637 / 075 0789 2030.
  • Play Scotland’s Chief Executive, Marguerite Hunter Blair – 077 9595 4856.
  • Play Wales’s Communications Manager, Angharad Wyn Jones – 029 2048 6050 / 07376 427556
  • PlayBoard Northern Ireland’s Marketing & Communications Officer, Maria McBride – 028 9080 3380 / 074 2345 6190.


About Playday
Playday is the national day for play, traditionally held on the first Wednesday in August. As well as an annual 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, Play Wales, Play Scotland and PlayBoard Northern Ireland.

About Play England
Play England campaigns for all children to have the freedom and space to play throughout childhood. As the national organisation for children’s play, Play England works with all those who have an impact on children’s lives to support and champion play as an essential part of childhood.

About Play Wales
Play Wales is the national charity for children’s play in Wales. We provide advice, support and guidance for all those in Wales who have a concern or responsibility for any environment where children and young people might play. Play Wales upholds children’s right to play. All children are entitled to quality play provision within their communities and we work strategically to achieve this goal on their behalf.

About Play Scotland
Play Scotland is the lead organisation for the development and promotion of children and young people’s play in Scotland. We work strategically to make the child’s right to play a reality so that all children can reach their full potential and be able to confidently inhabit an inclusive public realm, as well as help shape child friendly communities.

About PlayBoard Northern Ireland
PlayBoard is the lead organisation for the development and promotion of children and young people’s play in Northern Ireland. Play is fundamental to a healthy, happy childhood and PlayBoard is committed to supporting children and young people’s play through a combination of service delivery and development, campaigning and lobbying, research, evaluation and awareness raising, and promoting best practice in Play and Playwork.

Social Media:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PlaydayUK/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Playday4Nations
Follow #Playday2021 #SummerOfPlay