Play Wales is advocating a low cost approach to making the most of children’s free time – give them time to play. Playing with friends brings a whole host of positive bene ts to children - so do we really need
to break the bank to ll their lives with other
activities? Children say they want more time and good places to play outside with their friends.

  1. Quality time – children’s idea of quality time is different from ours. Simply, they just want and need time to play and to know that we are around if they need us.

  2. Prioritise time for playing – playing makes a very important contribution to all children’s learning and physical and emotional health. It is equally as important as lessons, homework or football practice – and it is what they want to do.

  3. Time out – outside is where children want to be. Time spent in natural outdoor environments with friends costs next to nothing.

  4. Screen time – we need to encourage children to go out and play – limiting screen time is a must for some children.

  5. Time to chill – if there is a worry about children’s safety nd a way to keep an eye out for them. Sit somewhere nearby, take a newspaper and a picnic and let them make their own adventures while you relax.

6. Go back in time – for centuries children have gained a huge amount of pleasure from dabbling in streams, rough and tumbling, building dens in the woods, larking about in mud and rain, making fairy houses from moss and leaves. These cost-free opportunities are valuable and timeless. If they have never had the opportunity show them it’s okay to get muddy or make a dam or pick and eat blackberries.

7. Time for cheap and cheerful – there are low-cost or no cost alternatives to ‘holiday activities’ and expensive toys and games, nd out about local playschemes, adventure playgrounds or scrapstores.