Call for more playtime at schools across Wales

Children in Wales should have more time to play in schools, according to the International Play Association Cymru Wales and Play Wales.

Today, Tuesday 11 June, on the first ever International Day of Play, a joint appeal was launched urging schools to ensure enough play time for all children.

They suggest extending lunch breaks or adding additional recess as possible interventions.

This call is supported by research from across Wales which indicates that playtime at school is important for children.

98 percent of children surveyed said they were excited about recess at school, with 82 percent saying they particularly enjoyed recess because it provides an opportunity to chat with friends.

However, 61 percent admitted to missing recess, either due to catching up on workload or disciplinary action from teachers.

Research highlights the importance of play time during a school day and its value for children.

Advocates emphasize that play is essential for children’s physical, mental, social and emotional health and overall well-being.

They believe that schools can actively contribute to the health and well-being of children by protecting playtime.

The call to action is clear: every child in Wales should benefit from extended play time, starting on International Day of Play.

Currently celebrated on June 11 each year, International Day of Play is a United Nations-designated day designed to celebrate children’s right to play and its crucial importance to their well-being.

This day aims to raise awareness around the world of children’s need for play.

Marianne Mannello, IPA Cymru Wales Branch Secretary, highlighted the importance of providing children with more opportunities to play, saying: “We need to give children more opportunities to play – not just at International Games Day, but every day of the year. .

“During the school day, children should have enough time and space to play freely with their friends.

“This year, International Play Day falls on a school day, so it’s an ideal opportunity for schools to protect play time and think about how more play time can be built into each day .”

Similarly, Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales, highlighted the role of schools, saying: “Schools in Wales play a major role in promoting the right to play for children and young people.

“When we ask them, most children say that recess is an important part of the school day and that they particularly enjoy recess because it allows them to spend time with their friends.

“However, too many children say they have missed playtime to catch up on work or because a teacher thinks they have behaved badly.

“We encourage all schools to ensure that all children have enough time to play at school, on International Day of Play and every day.”