Welcome to Playful parenting

This section of the website is for parents and carers. It contains advice and ideas to help you:

  • Understand more about childrens’ play, and why it’s important for their health and happiness
  • Find out how you can support your child’s play
  • Get practical ideas about giving your child what they need to get the most out of play - time, space, support and stuff to play with.

Pages in this section

  • Why play matters – why playing is an important part of childhood
  • About play – how children play, and ideas of things to do at home and in your community
  • Places to go – helpful hints about playing close to home and further away, whatever the weather
  • How to guides – advice and information about different types of play
  • Top tips – advice and information about supporting your child’s play
You may come across a few different words about play. Here is what they mean:

Play value

The variety and quality of play opportunities that a particular place offers. It can also describe what a space or a piece of equipment offers children to help them develop how they play.

For example, a space that is rich in play value gives children opportunities for a variety of play experiences - physical, social and sensory.

Designated play space

A place that has been specially created for children to play in. This can include traditional playground equipment such as swings and slides, or more natural features like sand and logs.

Playable space

A place where children can play, but that hasn’t ben specially designed for children to play in.