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Press Play – Examining the importance of play for teenagers

The Commissioner for Children and Young People has released a new report titled Press Play – Activating young people’s health and wellbeing through play.

It covers the findings of a survey undertaken by 500 South Australian young people aged 13 – 18 on the importance of play in their lives.

So much of the research around the importance of play has focussed on play for young children. Rarely has the importance of play for teenagers been examined.

Young people said they had little or no time for play in their current lifestyles as they were too busy and too tired to engage in play. Neither do they have the support of parents or other adults in their lives to exercise their right to play, saying higher priority is placed on completing schoolwork or engaging in extra curricular activities.

Overall engagement with learning would be enhanced by a more playful approach

Young people were unanimous in their interest to have more time made available for play, particularly while they were at school, saying their overall engagement with the learning agenda would be significantly enhanced if educators took a more playful approach to its delivery.

The report findings suggest we are more likely to create critical and creative adult thinkers if we address what barriers to play exist for young people at the individual, community, cultural and systemic levels, and then work together to remove them.

Young people play differently to previous generations. As well as creating opportunities for teenagers to have more play time, embedding playfulness into their lives means co-designing infrastructure with their input.

The Commissioner for Children and Young People invites community feedback and ideas on the recommendations contained within the report and how they can be implemented across our communities. 

For more information or to read the report: 

ccyp.com.au/ccyp-reports

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