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COVID19: Make Playtime a Priority


Play matters

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s important that children have the space and time to play every day indoors or in the garden.

Play is essential for children as it contributes to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing. In addition, it allows them the opportunity to learn new skills and make sense of the world around them while also helping to build resilience and cope with stress.

NI Direct has a dedicated section which explains the importance of play for children’s development. It also provides a range of ideas aimed at encouraging children of all ages to use their imagination and be creative.


Play activities for children at home

With schools closed and play dates on hold due to social distancing, it’s essential to keep children happy, learning and enjoying playtime at home. But perhaps you are running out of ideas?

PlayBoard NI – the lead organisation for the development and promotion of children and young people’s play – has provided some great ideas for fun and educational play activities to stimulate children in the home environment including…

Alphabet game Make your own playdough Etch your own fireworks
Crayon etching Build a den Make a milk carton bird house
Magic ink Shadow drawings Learn to juggle
Bug hotel Cotton tip daisy Pastel fish
Paperchain snake Magic box Indoor Wimbledon
Elmer the elephant Eco play activities Handprint bird

Encourage your children to enjoy these activities and more at playboard.org/play-ideas

‘The Way to Play’ E-Book – free copy available until 31.05.20

For a limited time only, PlayBoard NI is providing a free copy of its popular e-book – ‘The Way to Play’ to parents and carers. This useful resource, which normally costs £4.99, provides information on how to create play opportunities to suit the needs of children of all abilities, ages and preferences in a wide range of settings. Download your free copy at playboard.org/product/way-to-play-ebook

ABC Get Creative – What makes you happy?

For the time being, children may not be able to play with friends but they can still use their imagination.

Using our imaginations is a great way to keep mentally active and stay healthy. With that in mind, we are inviting all our younger citizens to get busy in their ‘isolation inspiration stations’ and produce a piece of awesome art, based on the theme:

‘What makes you happy?’

It can be a painting, a drawing, sculpture, collage or any other medium that you wish. From tots to teens we would love you to share your happy images, and to help spread the joy we will be posting the pics on our website and Facebook page to help brighten up everyone’s day.

Simply take a photo of your finished masterpiece (just the artwork please) and send it along with your name, age and where you live to

Please remember to get permission from an adult/career before sending in your masterpiece. Come on everybody. It’s time to get creative!

My Covid-19 Time Capsule

This is a very different and strange time in our history. Covid-19 has changed how we go about our daily lives and presents many challenges, difficulties and a new way of living. However this period of lockdown also offers the opportunity for our younger citizens to capture how the changes affect themselves and the world around them.

Recording how we are living through this period allows children to think and describe how they are feeling at this time and importantly reflect upon in the future.

Long Creations have produced a wonderful time capsule worksheet which allows children to record current events, understand how important the current situation is and that we really are living through a very significant time in history.

Download your free time capsule worksheet at the link below.
My Covid19 Time Capsule