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Having fun is child's play as kids skip TV for the day

Who needs Peppa Pig when you have a skipping rope?

Children around the country were encouraged to switch off the TV and discover the joy of old playground games as part of National Play Day.

Now in its ninth year, Play Day highlights the importance of play in children's lives, with 31 local authorities organising free events and activities yesterday, such as hopscotch and kick-the can, in parks nationwide.

"We want the day to be messy, manic and magic," organiser Debby Clark said.

"We've had the skipping ropes on standby and wanted to give children a cornucopia of games to play from space-hopping to tug-of-war. I think you'd be hard-pressed finding a child who would prefer to be watching Peppa Pig than playing here today."

The theme of Play Day was Out to Play, and parents and children with skipping ropes, Disney dresses and hula hoops littered the Merrion Square lawn.


Eoin Murphy, from Kilmainham, arrived with his daughter Jeanna (3), who spent the afternoon building sandcastles.

"It's a very simple idea but really important," said Eoin. "All the kids interact and play together - events like this are great for their social skills."