The COVID and Children’s Play report indicates that the benefits to children’s mental health and wellbeing of playing and learning outside together with others far outweigh the minimal risks to them and the adults around them. The British Psychological Society have produced a short video for professionals expanding the psychology of play, available here:
This is a lovely version for parents with lots of illustrations of very simple play activities featuring children of all ages:
Playing is central to children’s mental, social and emotional health and well-being. Through play, children develop resilience and flexibility, which contributes to physical and emotional well-being. Play Wales have produced a simple and accessible information sheet that briefly explains the importance of playing for brain development and mental health. It also explores how playing contributes to children’s emotional well-being and how it relates to the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’.
The International Play Association has produced a guide for families under the theme of Play in Crisis. Each page of the resource provides parents and carers with information and ideas, so they can support their child’s play. There are topics such as the importance of playing in crisis, and how to respond to children’s play needs, through to issues that parents may be concerned about, like children playing with difficult themes of loss, death and loneliness. The resource can be downloaded here.
This Home Play Pack from Play Scotland is another useful and well-produced resource.
The Anna Freud National Centre for children and families have some play tips, along with suggestions for how professionals can support and encourage parents and carers.
The ways in which teenagers play are often a source of concern or conflict within families and schools. The ways in which teenagers play include: hanging out; trying new things influenced by friends rather than family; risk taking; online activity including gaming.
The organisation Playful Childhoods has produced various resources around 'Supporting Teenagers’ with play (webpage with translation function). Top tips for supporting teenagers with play is also available to download here.
Play online games with your friends. Have a look at what is available on the app stores on your phones or go to gaming platforms such as Steam to browse multiplayer games. Kast is a good screen capture app that could be used to share your gameplay.
Go on a virtual trip together. Museums, zoos, aquariums and more are offering livestreams and virtual tours. Some links are available here and there are plenty more to be found online. Use a video chat platform to make this a group trip.
Organise a film night with your friends using Netflix Party. You can watch a programme together and join a group chat to talk. Netflix Party lets you synchronize Netflix watching across device/locations and adds chat feature between a group
DIY Science: anyone can be an engineer with Siemans who have produced quick and simple experiments that KS2 children could do simultaneously in their homes and watch how their friends are getting on at the same time/chat with each other.