Did you make time to play on National Playday 2018?

Posted by Rebecca Oberg on

Earlier this month we celebrated National Playday.

Now in it’s 31st year, Playday happens on the first Wednesday in August and is an annual celebration of children’s right to play, so it’s probably no surprise that it’s one of our favourite days of the year here at Eureka!  Nursery.

Take a moment to stop and think about your memories of playing as a child…

I’m sure you are seeing happy faces and hearing the sound of laughter (and you’re probably outside – but that’s a whole other blog for another day). Each year, Playday aims to promote a different aspect of play, and this year it highlighted the importance of play for children’s happiness, their physical and mental health, and their wellbeing.

At a time when regular reports in the press tell us that children in the UK are amongst the World’s most unhappy, it’s important to highlight the huge benefits of playing, for children and adults alike.

When children play they get to act in novel, creative and joyful ways. They experiment with emotion, take risks and solve problems, which in turn helps them to develop resilience.

Playing is often a group activity, which adds even more positive ingredients into the wellbeing pot. When children play together you often hear the sound of laughter. This laughter triggers endorphins, our body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which promotes our sense of wellbeing. And I recently discovered that Article: “How to Raise Happy Kids: 10 Steps Backed by Science” – hearing others laugh triggers neurons in your brain which makes you feel as if you are laughing too!

Playing creates happy memories. These memories can be evoked at any time (like when I prompted you to think about your own childhood at the start of this blog) and research shows that simply recalling happy memories improves your sense of wellbeing – great news!

Being playful also offers a fantastic opportunity for parents to fully engage with their children and provides a great bonding opportunity. We communicate in a more casual manner, and any minor disputes between siblings (or parents) from earlier can be put aside – it’s hard to hold a grudge when playing a fun game!

As parents and carers, the more we make a conscious effort to make time to play, the more we can help our whole family to enjoy the many, many benefits. So this Play Day we hope you were able to take a break from the hard work of parenting to get down to some laughter-inducing play.

As you can imagine, Playday is a big deal for us at Eureka! Nursery and Eureka! We partner with Calderdale Play Development Service to run loads of fun activities in our grounds, which are completely free for everyone to enjoy, and this year was no exception with our event being enjoyed by hundreds of families from across the region, who joined us to learn circus skills, scale a huge outdoor climbing wall, play with brilliant sound sculptures and more.

If you weren’t able to join us to celebrate Playday this year don’t worry – we always put play at the heart of everything we do and there’s plenty of the summer holidays left, so why not join us for a playful day this summer instead?

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