Special Issue "The Role of Play in Children’s Health and Development"
A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2014
Dr. Ute Navidi
Independent International Consultant Former CEO of London Play and Consultant Director (now trustee of) Hillingdon Play Association International Play Association – Regional Vice President (Europe)
Phone: +44 787 650 4988
Interests: children’s rights; disabled children; children’s play; gender; internet safety; community empowerment; playing in nature
The importance and benefits of play for the holistic development of children are not always appreciated by professionals working in fields such as child welfare, health, education, and housing. Whilst earlier generations of children often played freely outdoors, today’s children around the globe face many barriers to play, not least because of the ‘toxic’ environments humankind has created. Yet play “heralds the beginning of civilisation by imposing routines, rituals, and rules upon the expression of the universal primary and relentless adaptive emotions (loneliness, anger, fear, shock, disgust, and apathy)” (Brian Sutton-Smith). Play research has progressed our knowledge but has yet to reach wider audiences and influence practice. Many aspects of and assumptions surrounding play—and even definitions—remain controversial and subject to debate.
Play benefits all children, and has protective and preventative functions. With a focus on health, this special issue addresses: the benefits of play for children’s physical and mental health; play at different developmental stages; and the therapeutic power of play. “Opportunities for play can help children to work through difficult experiences, to make sense of life around them, to cope better with changes that have happened in their lives and sometimes to restore and heal them, as well as to provide fun, friendship and support positive relationships” (Theresa Casey). This online resource intends to provide a space where academics and practitioners can discuss, share knowledge and case studies, and find partners for joint projects and further studies with a focus on play and children’s well-being.
I look forward to receiving your contributions!
Dr. Ute Navidi
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.
- benefits of play
- child development
- children’s health
- UNCRC article 31
- disabled children
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Children’s Play Environments after a Disaster: The Great East Japan Earthquake
Author: Isami Kinoshita
Affiliation: Professor, Dr. at Chiba University, Japan
Abstract : Almost three years since the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011, children who lost their homes are still living in temporary accommodation. Those whose home town was polluted by radiation from the nuclear power station following the tsunami in Fukushima prefecture remain uncertain about when they will return home. Children who witnessed the terrible post-disaster scenery are still suffering from mental damage. Children’s play is the natural activity to help them recover.
Different types of play provision were targeted at these children: an adventure playground in Kesennuma, created by the Japanese Adventure Playground Network, mobile play in Sendai, Ishinomaki, and indoor playgrounds in Fukushima. However, most children have endured very poor play environments during the evacuation period as parks, school grounds and gymnastic halls where children used to play are temporarily used by evacuees. Lack of clear information about safety has led to rumours of radiation thus inhibiting children’s outdoor play. The result: an increase in childhood obesity and lack of exercise syndrome.
After three years, the situation is no longer temporary. A child’s right to play should be obeyed carefully in the recovery stage after a disaster.
Keywords: nuclear radiation; post-disaster; tsunami; mental health; adventure play; mobile play; childhood obesity; recovery
Title: The role of play in children’s palliative care
Authors: Sue Boucher1 and Julia Downing2
Affiliations: 1Educator; Information Officer and Author, ICPCN and Shuter & Shooter Publishers, South Africa
2 International Palliative Care Consultant; Honorary Professor, Makere University, Uganda
Abstract: Play is the universal language of childhood and the time and opportunity to play is every child’s right. The role of play as a vehicle for communication, a tool for distraction and its value in the holistic development of a normal child is without dispute. The role and value of play increases proportionately when a child is made more vulnerable through illness or disability. Despite this, providing time and opportunities to play can be overlooked or considered to be of little importance or relevance when the focus of the adult carers is the amelioration of clinical symptoms of the illness and on lessening the psychological impact the illness may have on the child.
This paper outlines the role and the value of play as an integral component in the provision of palliative care for children with chronic, life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. It will show how providing appropriate equipment, sufficient time and relevant play opportunities not only improves the very sick child’s psychological wellbeing, but also allows the child to cast aside the confines and restrictions imposed upon them by their illness and for a few golden moments to be nothing more than a child at play.
Keywords: children; role of play; value of play; life limiting illness; life threatening illness; psychological wellbeing
Title: Children’s Independent Mobility and Well-being
Author: Kumi Tashiro and LingHin Li
Affiliation: Department of Real Estate and Construction, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong
Abstract: In Hong Kong, children under the age of 11 are not allowed to be alone under any circumstances - neither outside their house nor at home. They always have to stay and travel with a guardian. In addition, many children join the extra curriculum after school and travel with an adult from school to cram school. This means there is almost no free time to play at play parks.
Our research shows that around 30 per cent of children do not go to the playground after school, and 34 per cent do not visit a friend’s house to play. One-quarter of all children do not play outside at weekends. Sixty-five per cent just stay at home in their spare time. Traditionally, family relationships are strong: 80 per cent of children have dinner with one of their parents more than three times per week and talk with them very much.
The birth rate in Hong Kong is below 1.0. This means a child always stays in environments among adults and they are accustomed to and seemingly satisfied with their situation. This phenomenon reduces children’s physical activities level and exercise habits. Frequency of experience of playing with friends or playing outside is controlled by their parents and depends on parents’ schedules and habits. In fact, Hong Kong government data show that children’s overweight and obesity levels are increasing year by year. The children’s independent mobility is not recognized as a problem and is therefore persisting. However this issue is not only important for children’s play but also for their physical and mental health and well-being.
Keywords: under-11s; extra curriculum; adult environments; independent mobility; childhood obesity; physical activities; exercise; outdoor play; mental health
Last update: 29 January 2014