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Outdoor Play

These sources of research and information highlight the rights of children and young people to play. They also demonstrate the life enhancing value of play as well as its positive impact on learning and life skills such as problem solving and resilience. They tackle some of the reservations people have to introducing loose parts play. 

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Outdoor Play
Right to Play 

Article 31 is part of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It states that all children have a right to have rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities and to participate in cultural life and the arts.

This Children’s Commissioner for Wales report consulted over 450 children and young people about the way they play, spend their free time, and take part in activities in school and their local area. It identified barriers facing many children and young people, including a lack of money and access to suitable transport.

Play and Mental Health

Children and young People’s Mental Health Coalition report 2020

This report brings together the latest insights from research, members, children and young people. It makes several recommendations to help shift society towards a more proactive approach towards infant, children, and young people’s mental health. It states:
“Given that children and young people had such little access to outdoor provision during lockdown, allowing time for play and exercise is imperative upon school return, for the long term” (page 25)

Loose parts outdoor play

Loose parts play: a toolkit

This toolkit demonstrates the life enhancing benefits of loose parts outdoor play in terms of children and young people’s physical activity, mental health and wellbeing, learning, social development, fun and enjoyment as well as its role in inclusive education.

It provides comprehensive guidance for introducing and managing loose play with recommendations based on practitioners’ experience. This Inspiring Scotland document links to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence which has similarities with the new Welsh curriculum.

Children’s Play and Independent Mobility 

Some of the questions explored in this survey: 

Where do children 5-11 play? how adventurously do they play? what age are they allowed out of their neighbourhood? how do socio-demographic factors, geographical and parent attitudes to risk impact on childrens’ play outdoors and their independent mobility? 

Wales Council for Outdoor Learning is not responsible for the content, standard or reliability of the websites, courses or resources linked from this page.


Listing should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all the time and we have no control over the availability of linked pages.

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