Top tips for celebrating Playday Playday is the national day for play in the UK. Playday 2021 will be celebrated on Wednesday 4 August. The theme for this year’s Playday is Summer of Play. The theme recognises the challenges children and teenagers have faced over the past year and a half and the need to enjoy time for play free of restrictions, with their friends, having fun. Playful Childhoods is encouraging all families to spend the day – and the whole summer – playing. Here are our top tips for a playful Playday! You don’t need a plan of activities. If you can take a step back and supervise from a distance, children will be more likely to play in their own way and gain the benefits of experimenting and experiencing things for themselves. Give children plenty of stuff to play with. Gather a selection from around the house, such as old fabric and clothes, pots and pans, cardboard boxes and tubes. Children get creative when left to play with this stuff. Children have a fascination with nature so think about stuff that allows children to explore the four elements in their play: Earth – mud pies, sand, clay or digging Air – kites, bubbles, balloons or flags Fire – candle decorating, toasting marshmallows or campfire cooking Water – hosepipes, buckets, sponges or watering cans. Make sure your children are ready for a day of play. Encourage children to wear old clothes for getting messy and wet – and be prepared for whatever the weather. If you give children enough time, they will play and get creative. Spend the whole day playing – at home, in the garden, and with family and friends out in your community. If you give children enough space to play, it will support a range of experiences. Make use of outdoor space in your neighbourhood, like a park, a beach or playground. If you support children to play, they are more likely to play in their own way. You may need to agree some broad rules but otherwise allow children to decide what is appropriate by stepping back. If you have a local play development team, get in touch with them as they may be able to let you know about what’s happening in your area on Playday and throughout the Summer of Play. Find out who to contact. Have fun. Spending the whole day playing should be fun for children and parents. Step back and observe the incredible experiences your children have whilst playing – watch them learning, negotiating and enjoying themselves. Finally, ask the children what they thought of the day. If they enjoyed it, think about how you can play more every day.