Play & Leisure

A child's day is full of play. Play helps children learn and practice new skills, make friends and find a sense of self. Play changes as children develop into adults and includes hobbies and leisure activities.

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Play and Leisure

A child's main occupation is play.  It is through play that children learn and practice new skills, make friends and find a sense of self.

There are a number of different ways to think about and define play.  Play can be broken up into a number of types:

The Scottish Government

In June 2013, the Scottish Government launched Scotland's first national Play Strategy.  This strategy was built on the views of children and young people, parents and carers, the play sector and others involved in children's wellbeing.

Play encompasses children's behaviour which is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. It is performed for no external goal or reward, and is a fundamental and integral part of healthy development - not only for individual children but also for the society in which they live.
- Play Strategy for Scotland 2013

Play Strategy for Scotland 2013

If you would like to read this document please download here.


NHS Health Scotland

NHS Health Scotland have published three books to encourage parents to establish good exercise habits and setting the foundation for learning throughout life. 

Each book has a programme of play activities for babies and young children which will help your child's development and well-being. There are three books available:

The books are issued free of charge to all parents with children under 5 years within Scotland.  For further downloadable activities sheets from NHS Health Scotland click here.