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Playing Out - The importance to children of play and physical activity

This report from the Children’s Commissioner for England looks at the importance to children of play and physical activity.

The benefits of play and physical activity to children are undeniable. Yet the proportion of children being active is extremely low. In 2015, just 1 in 4 (23%) boys and 1 in 5 (20%) girls aged 5-15 met the recommendation of 60 minutes of activity each day.

The report makes a number of recommendations to both Government and local areas to help children become more active.


  1. Put out of school activity at the heart of the plan to reduce obesity
  2. Focus on play and activity in response to other challenges faced by children, including mental health and technology use.
  3. Reduce the bureaucracy in getting financial help for childcare after school and during school holidays
  4. Fund holiday play schemes in disadvantaged areas
  5. Make children’s play and physical activity a public health priority

Local areas

  1. Think strategically about how to promote play, and work with local venues to maximise the use of existing facilities.
  2. Focus on making parks and other areas a safe, child-friendly space
  3. Fund holiday and out of school activities for every looked after child.