Monday 22 December 2014

Children urged to get serious about play as they rediscover joy of games

Published 07/07/2014 | 02:30

17 month old Aalva Finn is oblivious to the sudden downpours as she plays during National Play Day in Dublins Merrion Square Park while older girls Katie Crowe and her friend Nadine Brady take shelter in a play wheel.
17 month old Aalva Finn is oblivious to the sudden downpours as she plays during National Play Day in Dublins Merrion Square Park while older girls Katie Crowe and her friend Nadine Brady take shelter in a play wheel.
Pictured is Jeanna Heffernan Murphy (3) from Kilmainham enjoying National Play Day in Merrion Square focusing on the joy of going 'out to play'. Photo: El Keegan
Pictured is Conn Ryan, 2 and a half, from Phibsborough hiding behind his mum Elaine's legs at National Play Day in Merrion Square focusing on the joy of going 'out to play'. Photo: El Keegan

WHO needs 'Peppa Pig' when you have duck-duck-goose?

Children were encouraged to switch off the TV sets yesterday and rediscover the joy of old-fashioned playground games as part of National Play Day.

Now in its ninth year, the event highlights the importance of play, with 31 local authorities holding free events and activities in parks across Ireland.

"We want the day to be messy, manic and magic," organiser Debby Clark told the Irish Independent. "We've had the skipping ropes on standby, and wanted to give children a cornucopia of games to play. I think you would be hard-pressed finding a child who would prefer to be watching 'Peppa the Pig' than playing here today."

This year, the theme was 'Out to Play', and skipping ropes, Disney-style dresses and hula hoops littered the lawn of Merrion Square in Dublin.

Eoin Murphy, from Kilmainham, who arrived with his daughter Gina (3), said: "It's a very simple idea but really important," Mr Murphy said. "Events like this are great for their social skills."

Nicola Smyth had her hands full looking after sons Jack (2) and four-month-old Tom.

"It's difficult to find the time to meet up with other parents and their kids during the working week," she said.

Irish Independent

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