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Play Today Campaign

The right to play and informal recreation, for all children and young people up to 18 years of age is contained in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

No Australian would deny this right for our children, but how well does this translate into practice in the 21st century and could we do better?

Play Australia advocates for healthy play opportunities for children, young people and the wider community.

Our ‘Play Today’ campaign provides information to the play sector and wider community on the importance of play for children’s health and wellbeing. We have developed a series of 5 factsheets covering a number of current topics about the issues children face - complete with information, definitions and data. There are also helpful tips on how parents, educators and caregivers can support play.

You can access this resource by simply downloading the A4 factsheets to print, display or distribute to your organization, network or group.

Better opportunities for play means healthier children and a healthier Australia.

Click links below to read and/or download each of the factsheets in High Res PDF files.

Play Today
Play Today
Play Today

Factsheet References:

Play creates healthy children
‘Only 1 in 3 children engage in free play outdoors daily’
Natural Fun: Let Them Climb Trees, March 2010

‘A quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese’
Australian Medical Association, Position Statement: Obesity, 2016

‘Spending more than 2 hours a day outdoors reduces the likelihood of children developing myopia’
The Impact of Myopia and High Myopia, World Health Organisation 2016

‘Anxiety related problems are also increasing amongst children and has an incidence of 10 times that of diabetes’
A Picture of Australian Children 2009, Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

‘Contact with nature is extremely valuable for stimulating full-body engagement and recovery from fatigue and stress’
Nature Play & Learning Places, Robin Moore 2014

Play balances risk-taking and safety
‘64% of adults said they climbed trees as kids compared to less than 20% of their kids’
Pollinate. Climbing Trees: Getting Aussie Kids Back Outdoors, Planet Ark 2011

‘Playground risk is extremely small in terms of fatalities and in terms of lesser injuries far lower than for traditional sports and about the same as the risk encountered at home’
Playgrounds – Risk, Benefits and Choices, David Ball, Health and Safety Executive UK 2002

Play connects children with their community
‘‘Stranger Danger’ is often identified as being the key barrier for parents to physical activity and independent mobility in their children’
Children’s Independent Mobility: Fact or Fiction: 8-12 year olds 2012

‘73% of adults said they played on the street when they were young compared to only 24% of their kids’
Pollinate. Climbing Trees: Getting Aussie Kids Back Outdoors, Planet Ark 2011

‘In communities where people actively engage with others, perceive their neighbourhoods to be safe and have a positive sense of belonging, children’s safety, health and wellbeing are enhanced’
Reflections on the value of a supportive ‘village’ culture for parents, carers and families: Findings from a community survey, Brett Lush and Jennifer Boddy, Journal of Social Inclusion, Griffith University Research Online, 2014

Play supports children’s learning
‘As much as 25% of time spent at school is playground time, making the benefits of play at school important’
Play Time is Vital for Children, Sydney Morning Herald, 3rd September 2012

‘On average children spend about 6 hours per week on homework’
Does Homework Perpetuate Inequities in Education? PISA in Focus, OECD 2014

‘Australian children’s screen time increased from ages 4-13 years. On average, by 13 years, children spent 3 hours per weekday (20% of their waking time) and 4 hours per weekend day (30% of their waking time) using screens.'
Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children 2015 Report

Play needs space and time
‘Play can enhance early development by anything from 33% to 67% by increasing adjustment, improving language skills and reducing social and emotional problems. This had positive implications for both educational development and everyday intellectual life’
The Impact of Play on Development: A Meta Analysis, Play and Culture 1992, Edward Fischer

‘In 40 years backyards have gone from being at least ¾ of a block to less than ½ the block, in many cases this space being dedicated to outdoor entertaining rather than grass, trees, washing line and shed of old’
Death of the Australian Backyard – A Lesson for Canberra, Tony Hall, Urban Research Program, Griffith University, 2010