2019 media release

Thousands of children go out to play for Playday 2019

Today, thousands of children and young people from across the UK will be out playing, celebrating Playday – the national day for play. Hundreds of local and regional play events are taking place to promote the importance of children’s right to play.

Having plenty of opportunities to explore and play outdoors is essential for children’s physical and mental health, as well as their happiness, learning and development.  

The Playday 2019 theme – Play Builds Children – highlights the many ways play is good for children:

  • Play Builds Friendships – playing allows children to interact with others, develop relationships, deal with conflict, and learn respect and tolerance. 
  • Play Builds Resilience – playing boosts children’s confidence, creativity, problem-solving skills and perseverance, enabling them to cope with stress and challenges throughout life.
  • Play Builds Health and Well-being – being active through play helps children physically and emotionally, contributing to their health and happiness.
  • Play Builds Communities – playing allows children to learn about the world around them, make connections, and develop a sense of identity and belonging. 

Local community events, such as Playday celebrations, provide an ideal opportunity to bring together children, families and the wider community. The biggest difference we can all make in our communities is to improve the environment and conditions to make it easier for children to access outdoor play opportunities.

We are calling on everyone – parents, grandparents, carers, childcare providers and support staff across the UK to help us celebrate and promote the importance of play.

PlayBoard Northern Ireland CEO, Jacqueline O’Loughlin said: 

“Each year Playday offers a wonderful opportunity to shine the spotlight on play and how vital access to a diverse range of play opportunities is for all children. We know it’s essential that children and young people get time to play every day and we’re delighted that events will be taking place right across the UK on 7 August to highlight the vast range of benefits children gain from playing.”

Chief Executive of Play Scotland, Marguerite Hunter Blair said:

“So much to celebrate in Scotland this Playday.  Children need a healthy balanced diet of play opportunities and we are launching the Inclusive Parks Scotland report and interactive map today to make it easier for all children to enjoy a wide range of play experiences.  We are also celebrating the commitment to Play Sufficiency in the new Planning (Scotland) Act which will improve planning for play in every community. We look forward to joining thousands of children, carers and families celebrating Playday in parks, playgrounds and gardens across Scotland for the best Playday ever!”

Play England’s Chair of Trustees, Nicola Butler said: 

“All children are entitled to play every day. In fact, it is essential. Playing is a fundamental and vital part of being a child, as recognised in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  This national Playday, Play England is calling for government leadership on play, so that we can all gain the unique benefits of children playing more.”

Director of Play Wales, Mike Greenaway said:

“It’s great to see so many families out celebrating children’s right to play. Playing is important to children and it makes a significant positive impact on their health, wellbeing, development, and most importantly their happiness. As a society we need to recognise and value that every child has a right to play. We also need to continue to work together to make our communities more play friendly to increase and improve outdoor play opportunities for our children – on Playday and every day of the year.”  


For more information please contact:

  • Play Wales’ Communications Manager, Angharad Wyn Jones – 029 2048 6050
  • Play Scotland’ Strategy and Development, Cherie Morgan – 07738 238448 / 0131 313 8859
  • PlayBoard Northern Ireland’s Communications Officer, Maria McBride – 028 90803380 
  • Play England’ Trustee, Libby Truscott – 07802 722412


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. On Playday thousands of children and young people get out to play at hundreds of locally organised celebrations – from small-scale neighbourhood get-togethers to large-scale public events.

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. www.playengland.org.uk/

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 delivers children’s right to play in Scotland. Promoting the importance of play for all children and young people and strategically planning to create increased play opportunities. Play Scotland works to ensure all children and young people have equal and diverse quality play opportunities that meet their individual need. You can become a Play Champion for Scotland by signing up to Scotland’s Play Charter. 

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.

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