Children set to invade Grassmarket for play fun

Edinburgh’s historic Grassmarket will be transformed into a giant children’s play area tomorrow (Wednesday 29 July) to promote play in the city.

Playday photo
It's all just child's play!

The enclosed street in the Old Town will be transformed between 12.30pm and 4.30pm for Edinburgh’s Playday where there will be lots of family-friendly activities on offer including junk drumming, a mud kitchen, parachute games, magic potions, a giant sand pit, water play, and a cardboard city.

This will be the 15th year that the event has been held and every year gets bigger and more fun! Thousands of people, both young and old, have come along to join in activities on offer.

Playday is the national day for play, which is being celebrated next week. On Playday thousands of children and their families get out to play at hundreds of community events across the UK.

As well as a celebration of children's right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children's lives. It’s all about learning for life and showing that play is fun not just for the child but for adults as well.

Councillor Keith Robson, Play Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Play is a massively important part of a child’s development and makes a tremendous contribution to happy and healthy childhoods. Children need freedom to play so they can practice skills, explore the world around them and develop understanding in their own way and in their own time. Real play comes from children’s need to express themselves, to explore, learn about and make sense of their world.

“Playing with your child is one of the most wonderful things about being a parent. It’s a vital part of the way babies and children grown and learn. The time you have fun together brings you closer, makes your child feel loved and secure, helps them develop self-esteem and social skills.

“Our very popular Playday in the Grassmarket provides a fantastic opportunity to celebrate play and promote its many benefits as well as visiting one of the most picturesque areas of the city. I would recommend everyone comes along for what promises to be a fun-filled afternoon of play!”

Playday is part of the successful City of Edinburgh Council Play Strategy which states:

Edinburgh aims to be a play friendly city where all children and young people can enjoy their childhood. They will have access to play opportunities in a range of different settings which offer variety, adventure and challenge. They will be able to play freely and safely and make choices about where, how and when they play.”

Other ongoing projects to promote play include the formation of the Edinburgh Play Forum – ‘Playful Edinburgh’, which is a partnership of voluntary groups and other organisations supporting play across the city. The forum were successful in gaining Inspiring Scotland Go2Play funding for Play Ranger projects which will run outdoor play sessions in eight sites across the city. The Edinburgh Play Ranger projects are organised by Smart Play Network, Canongate Youth Project, North Edinburgh Arts and Edinburgh Leisure. EPF members Dads Rock and The Yard will be adding to the exciting activities on offer at Playday.

Access to Edinburgh’s Playday is free but children should be accompanied by an adult. For more information contact cf.play@edinburgh.gov.uk

The event has been organised by the City of Edinburgh Council, the Edinburgh Play Forum and many volunteers.

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