On Thursday 5th October, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, officially launched Play Scotland’s new ‘Play Types Toolkit’ at Scotland’s first ever play convention.

Play Scotland, which also organised the convention, is a group which works to promote the importance of play in line with the right of children to play as set in out in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Following the publication of Scotland’s first ever Play Charter earlier this year, written and developed by Play Scotland, the event at Murrayfield brought together hundreds of people interested in the importance of play for a child’s development – from teachers and play workers to sports students.

Since becoming an MSP, Ruth has been a strong ‘Play Champion’. Back in March, she led a Holyrood debate celebrating and welcoming Scotland’s first Play Charter, followed by a reception event for MSPs and play practitioners from across Scotland, where attendees heard from Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald, about the Scottish Government’s commitment to, and plans for, Scotland’s Play Charter.

Ruth has also visited local play champions, St Luke’s Primary School in Kilwinning, to see the primary school’s committed play culture first hand.

The ‘Play Types Toolkit’ launched by Ruth at the convention is based on the 16 play types identified by the highly acclaimed play theorist and activist, Bob Hughes, which include rough and tumble, creative, fantasy, and communication.

Speaking at the event, Ruth said:

“Back in March, I had the pleasure of leading a debate in the Scottish Parliament to welcome and to celebrate Scotland’s first national Play Charter – which was of course written and developed by Play Scotland, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Seven months later, it is my huge pleasure to be able to congratulate Play Scotland on hosting Scotland’s first ever Play Convention – something which I hope becomes a regular feature

To ensure that children are engaging in each of the play types, it is important that we are able to distinguish between them and to really understand the differences in their nature.

This is where the Toolkit comes in as an invaluable resource.

It clearly delineates the different types of play, the different benefits they bring, and how to facilitate them.

In this, it will support practioners to be confident in engaging with them – and help to ensure that children across Scotland are experiencing each of the equally important 16 types.

By highlighting the range of types of play that children experience, and their vital contribution to learning and development, this Toolkit will help to make it easier for schools to integrate play into the curriculum.

And this can only have a positive impact on the attainment and well-being of children in schools across Scotland – because play is an essential part of every child’s life, and it is vital for the enjoyment of childhood – as well as for children’s social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.”

Marguerite Hunter Blair, CEO of Play Scotland (pictured with Ruth), added:

“We know that play is key to raising attainment and that playful interventions in the school day also improves children’s education and health outcomes.

Ruth Maguire MSP has been an outstanding Play Champion for play in Scotland and we are delighted that she launched the inspirational Play Types Toolkit – Bringing more play into the school day at Play Scotland’s sell out Play Convention at Murrayfield”