Campaign to get children out to play launched by Beano favourite

Away and play web

The drive aims to get children out into Scotland's 'natural playground'

28th July 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A drive to get children out to play has been launched.

Away and Play, created by Inspiring Scotland, an independent charity focused on tackling some of Scotland’s toughest, long-term social problems, will run for a year. 

It will highlight the benefits of free and unstructured play in encouraging imagination, promoting risk-taking, improving health and helping children collaborate. 

Beano character, Dennis the Menace, joined Mark McDonald MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Childcare and Early Years, to launch a new campaign highlighting the benefits to children of free and creative play.

 Inspiring Scotland cites global studies which provide evidence that play helps children as they grow up and can lead to more innovative, entrepreneurial and caring societies in the future.

Launching the campaign at a Play on Wheels event at Kingspark Primary School in Dundee, Mr McDonald said: “Through Away and Play we’re really aiming to get everyone across Scotland back outside and playing in Scotland’s natural playground. So let’s unplug the computer, open the back door, put our wellies on and away and play.” 

Research published in the academic journal Early Education and Development is part of a growing body of research on the subject. This has shown that children with higher levels of active outdoor play had improved cognition which resulted in better academic performance in reading and mathematics.

Celia Tennant, chief executive of Inspiring Scotland, said: “Children thrive on play.  Active, child-led play allows children to use their imagination and creativity where they develop their own games and imaginary scenarios.  Play creates a realm of dragons and superheroes where everything is possible, a place where a stick becomes a wand and a puddle can be the ocean.”