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More space and play opportunities – that’s what children want in a post-pandemic world

Children need more than skateparks and playgrounds if they are to be independent and confident.

Children say they want more space and more time to play with their friends following the COVID pandemic, according to a new study.

Research by Play Wales and Swansea University also found that youngsters have a desire for more protected places to play, which includes investment in maintenance, upkeep and safety of facilities.

The study was focused on more than 20,000 children in Wales aged 8 to 11 years old and the findings based on changes in responses to questions about play opportunities collected through the HAPPEN Primary School Network survey from 2016 and 2021.

Play Wales says that the key recommendations, based on youngsters’ feedback, are are: more space to play (outside homes, including gardens);  more time with friends and protected time to play with friends in school and at home; protected spaces to play; and more opportunities for socialising with family and friends.

Marianne Mannello, Assistant Director of Play Wales, said: ‘We welcome this research which gives us a valuable insight into what children value and what we need to do to help them re-engage in physical activities to help their health and wellbeing.

“It is vital that we listen to children’s views and remove the barriers to play. This will help them support their own wellbeing, experiencing a happy and healthy childhood.”

Click here for the full study.

Author: Simon Weedy

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