Minister O’Gorman announces National Play Day 2020

National Play Day

Making the announcement, the Minister said:

‘Play is central to children’s wellbeing, learning and development.  Now more than ever, there is a need for each of us to make time for play in our homes and in our communities. I welcome National Play Day 2020 and encourage people to take part, whether it is from your home or in your community.

Children’s lives have been turned upside down during this challenging time and hopefully National Play Day will be the beginning of children regaining a sense of normality.’

The aim of National Play Day is to promote play opportunities for children all across the country.

Each year, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs works in collaboration with Local Authorities to implement a programme of activity to support National Play Day. This year National Play Day, with the theme of Playful Homes: Playful Communities, is being delivered under the broader Let’s Play Ireland campaign. Let’s Play Ireland has been running since April as part of the Government response to support children and families during COVID-19 restrictions. Simple but key messages about the importance of play provide the focus for the Let’s Play Ireland campaign: Play to Connect; Play to Have Fun; Play at least Once a Day.

Local Authorities are funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to host initiatives to promote and celebrate National Play Day by creating playful opportunities for children all across the country.

Events which are taking place to celebrate National Play Day include:

  • a disco and magic show which will take place in the gardens of Cavan County Museum;
  • virtual circus skills classes and play packs being provided by Dublin City Council,
  • play packs to be distributed to direct provision centres and targeted groups across the country, plus many more.

Families should check with their Local Authority to see what great and fun ideas will take place in their area for National Play Day 2020 and also check out Gov.ie/letsplayireland to view the National Play Day video and further play ideas.

Editors Notes

The aim of National Play Day is to promote play opportunities for children all across the country.The Department of Children and Youth Affairs in collaboration with Local Authorities will implement a programme of activity to support National Play Day and to this end funding is available for all Local Authorities to support their involvement in National Play Day.

Local Authorities are encouraged to create play opportunities in residential gardens or communal areas by purchasing play equipment or hosting a community event e.g. a social community outdoor activity, a community game, disco party or any social activity in an outdoor space keeping within the restrictions of social distancing.

Local Authorities may also provide play packs with play tools for children. There is a strong focus on prioritising children, families and communities more likely to experience play deprivation, children who have additional needs or children who are part of seldom heard groups. Play Packs can include items such as skipping ropes, soft balls, crafts or drawing materials, toys for communication, toys for socialisation, toys for sensory, toys for manipulation, toys for movement: most of all TOYS FOR FUN!!

Issued by the Press and Communications Office at the Department of Children and Youth Affairs - Tel: 01 6473153 / 3114 or Email: media@dcya.gov.ie