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How are Aussie kids & teens playing in 2021? and is it enough?

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How many times do you visit your local playground? Are there enough playspaces in your neighbourhood? Do you wish your kids had more time to play? Does where you live, what your background is or whether you live with a disability affect your opportunity to play? Variety – the Children’s Charity has today launched its National Play Survey to find out how Aussie kids and teens are playing and, more importantly, who is not playing and why.

The survey results will be collated into a National State of Play Report to be released in December 2021.

The report will show decision-makers and funders the shortfalls and inequalities in play opportunities for our kids at both a state and national level.

Variety Head of Inclusive Play, Kim Becherand, said play is essential for the development of happy and healthy children, yet the reality is not all our kids and teens have the same opportunities to participate in play.

“Play is so much more than a bit of fun for our kids and teens. It is children’s work, it’s how they develop and learn. A great childhood full of play helps fight the growing health and well-being problems our kids and teens face currently,” she said.

“Variety is passionate about play! We want to level the playing field for kids and teens across Australia but first we need to understand the barriers faced by individuals, families and communities.”

The national online survey is open to everyone including the real play experts – our kids!

“We really want to raise their voices and hear from our kids and teens directly – why they like to play, and what would get them to experience the joy and benefits of play and park recreation more,” said Kim. 

“Of course, we’re also talking to parents, grandparents, carers, schools, councils, service providers, play advocates – basically anyone who likes to play!” 

“We’re asking everyone to tell us what makes a great play experience and what would make parks and playgrounds more enjoyable and inclusive for them. More importantly, what is getting in the way of their play.”  

The national survey is available online at https://www.variety.org.au/variety-state-of-play/

The survey was formerly undertaken by the Touched By Olivia Foundation since 2014 and it informs councils, governments and corporates as they invest in the health, wellbeing and happiness of all Australians – one playspace at a time.

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