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Explore play

The national day for play in the UK Playday is an annual celebration of children’s right to play.

The next Playday is on Wednesday 7 August 2024

Playday was established in 1987 and takes place on the first Wednesday in August.

It is an ongoing campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives, focusing on a particular issue each year. Each year, Playday has a particular theme highlighting an issue or aspect of children’s play – for example:

  • encouraging everyone to give children more time and freedom to play
  • reclaiming the streets for children to be able to play safely outside their homes.

For information about previous campaigns, see the Playday website.

At Play Wales, Playday gives us a valuable annual opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of children’s play and the need for quality play provision. We use Playday to highlight that play is important and quality play provision is needed every day of the year in all areas of Wales.

Playday is coordinated by Play England, Play Scotland, PlayBoard Northern Ireland and Play Wales.


Playday 2024 theme

The theme for this year’s Playday is:

Play – the culture of childhood
Supporting play, fun and friendships

This year’s theme celebrates the rich and lively culture of children’s play. Every child plays – playfulness is a distinct feature of behaviour across generations and cultures. Playing generates a culture of childhood. Playing is vital for children’s health, happiness, and creativity.

Through play:

  • children develop a sense of, and value for culture
  • cultural exploration is encouraged, fostering an appreciation for diversity
  • children work together, negotiate, and build relationships
  • children feel connected to each other and their neighbourhoods
  • children create and pass on games, songs and stories.

Play is every child’s right – on Playday and every day. This Playday, we are calling everyone – families, playworkers, and all those who work with children across the UK, to join together to foster a culture of supporting play.


Get involved

For the latest updates on this year’s campaign follow Playday on Facebook and Twitter and get involved using the hashtags #Playday2024 and #PlayAndCulture

Our Top tips for celebrating Playday offer practical ideas for giving children plenty of time, space and freedom to play on Playday. The top tips are aimed at those working in all settings where children play.

Playful Childhoods

Play Wales’ Playful Childhoods campaign aims to help parents, carers and community groups provide more opportunities for children to play at home and in their neighbourhoods.

Learn more
child playing with bubbles
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