Learning and play is one of our key themes, so it’s always exciting to see support and initiatives blossoming in this all-important aspect of child development. Particularly interesting here is the urban angle. iOi is based in London so the challenges around creating space for children in cities’ adult-focused environment are part of our driving force.
The Real Play Coalition says the evidence is overwhelming on the positive benefits of play, and the world is now reaching a point where experts are joining forces to suggest the need to ‘prescribe’ play as an essential requirement for children.
Cities must also be less ‘passive’ in their policies, and be more proactive in helping citizens control what they do, and how they work together for children’s benefit. Through better partnerships across the spectrum, the aim is that, ultimately, 500 million children will have benefited from the ‘power of play’ by 2025.
Key Evidence Around Learning Through Play
Launched at the 10th World Urban Forum, the coalition published a major new report, ‘Reclaiming Play in Cities – The Real Play Coalition Approach‘ – which reviews the key evidence around learning through play, along with the impact of city and urban environments on children’s access to play and their overall development.
the aim is that 500 million children will have benefited from the ‘power of play’ by 2025
The report outlines five key areas of children’s development linked to play – physical, creative, social, emotional and cognitive. It also outlines an Urban Play Framework, providing a method for understanding how various urban systems impact a child’s learning through play experience. This, in turn, influences their life skills development and their ability to thrive and be all they can be.
The Real Play Coalition is a multi-partner organisation that was established in 2018 to create a movement prioritising the importance of play for both children as a basic function, but also something that sparks their development and learning. Its founding partners are National Geographic, The Lego Foundation and IKEA, and it also now works alongside UNICEF and Arup, a global design firm known for its child-friendly policies.