A world without play: Literature review

This review is part of a wider enquiry conducted by Play England and the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) for the Make Time to Play campaign.

The review gives an overview of the importance of play for children’s health, well-being and development, as well as discussing the benefits of play provision to local communities. It illustrates how lack of time and spaces for play, and hostile attitudes towards children playing outdoors can have damaging implications for children’s health and happiness.

Drawing on a wide range of evidence, the review indicates the potential consequences of ‘a world without play’; that is, a world where play is placed at the bottom of adult agendas and the value of play in children’s lives is not fully acknowledged. Children will always play, but adults must provide children with opportunities, time to themselves and spaces for play if they are to get the full benefits.

This review was originally published in May 2011 and revised in January 2012.

Download A World Without Play: Literature review [911 KB PDF]