ACP continues its ABC of children's mental health with J for joy

The ACP supports play and creating opportunities for children to experience joy and freedom in their play. 

There was a debate recently in the Scottish parliament on play, where the parliament welcomed the promotion of Scotland’s first inclusive Play Charter by Play Scotland, a group which works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people in Cunningham South and across Scotland, and campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community.

The charter describes a collective commitment to play for all babies, children and young people in Scotland, in line with the right of children to play as set in out in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The charter builds on the Scottish Government’s National Play Strategy and the Getting it Right for Every Child approach to supporting children, young people and their families.

The charter’s aims to highlight that every child has the right to play and the importance of play, ensuring that a commitment to play is more strongly embedded within policies, strategies, key qualifications and Continuous Professional Development training, ensuring that children and young people are supported in their right to play and that play spaces are valued within communities, inspiring individuals, play providers and organisations to promote a range of inclusive play opportunities, and to bring back the sight and sound of children playing in communities.  

An ACP spokes person welcomed the play charter and asked if other MPs could support it, in order to make sure that it remains high on the politcal agenda. "Play and the importance of play is often overlooked in our target driven society, where success is often measured through grades and academic achievements, rather than whether a child is happy or not. We know, through research and experience, that play promotes brain development and limiting or inhibiting opportunities for children to play, will therefore negatively affect brain development."

For more information on the parliamentary debate on play, click here