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The WA Play Charter, drafted by the Play Matters Collective, is a declaration of the importance of play in children’s lives. 
By endorsing the WA Play Charter you are signalling your shared belief in the fundamental value of play to children’s health, happiness and development, and putting up your hand to support a more playful world for the children in your care and in your community.

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Join the movement to make play by endorsing the WA Play Charter Below!
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Organisations who endorse the Play Charter
Schools and Early Learning Centres
who endorse the Play Charter


The following resources and play-friendly organisations have inspired the PMC and development of the WA Play Charter.

International Play Association – Summary of United Nations General Comment 17 on Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 

The United Nations General Comment 17 is a comprehensive statement on play in response to failures of States Parties in adequately recognising and promoting the importance of play articulated in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the impact on children’s lives and society.

International Play Association – Declaration on the Importance of Play 

Declaration reaffirming IPA’s aim and intent to: Protect the right to play; Preserve the right to play; Promote the right to play, including an outline of the impacts of play deprivation on children, young people and the whole of our society. 

The Lego Foundation – Why Play

The LEGO Foundation is committed to re-defining play and re-imagining learning to ensure children develop the skills needed to navigate an uncertain and complex world.  The LEGO Foundation aims to fund, collect and showcase evidence that play is fundamental to children’s positive development.

Canadian Public Health Association – Children’s Unstructured Play Position Statement

Outlining the benefits of unstructured play with recommendations to all levels of Government, public health agencies, research and surveillance agencies, play space designers and Canadian Standards Association

Canadian Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play

The Statement is a result of two systematic reviews of available scientific evidence on the net effect of outdoor and risky active play.

American Association of Paediatrics - The Power of Play: A Paediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children

Guidance to Paediatricians based on current research evidence of the critical importance of play in children’s health and wellbeing.

Scotland’s Outdoor Play & Learning Coalition Position Statement

A statement on the importance of outdoor play and learning, including links to research evidence.   

Rights of the Child, United Nations General Assembly (1989)

A Guide to General Comment 7: Implementing child rights in early childhood, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] (2006.)

Children’s right to play. The British Psychological Society. (2019) to%20play.pdf?fbclid=IwAR152p3p71h5ziSAaM4gx781dvubHYtHe_y5uakeV6rS1tZlJSNFX_d5ATQ\

Welsh Government’s Play Sufficiency Duty

Scotland’s Play Charter – Play Scotland 

Charter for Children’s Play - Play England

Calgary Play Charter

PlayBoard, Northern Ireland


American Academy of Paediatrics. (2016). The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds

How your early childhood shapes your brain. World Economic Forum (2018)


Play and resilience project, World Organization for Early Childhood Education, [OMEP]. (2018)

Prioritising time for unstructured, child-led play is key to supporting children’s mental wellbeing, especially during a pandemic

American Psychological Association


Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace [DEEWR]. (2009). Belonging, being & becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Retrieved

Why Play-based learning? Barblett, L. (2016)

How We Deprive Children of the Physical Activity They Need, Gray, P. (2018)


Neuroscience and learning through play: a review of the evidence, The Lego Foundation (2017)

Children should learn mainly through play until age of eight, says Lego. Ward, L. (2016)


Engaging families in the early childhood development story. Neuroscience and early childhood development, Winter, P. (2010) 7

The importance of play: A report on the value of children’s play with a series of policy recommendations. Whitebread, D. (2012)


Play types. Hughes, B. (1996)

Parents’ play pack: For parents and carers of children aged eight to twelve. Play Scotland. (2018)


Play Types Toolkit Bringing more play into the school day. Scott-McKie, L. & Casey, T. (2017)

Building Language and Literacy through Play. Scholastics Inc. (2021)



The Gonski Institute

Resources for parents and caregivers to support their child’s education. The guides provide quality, up-to-date information, translated research and practical tips on a range of topics including being a child’s ‘first and forever teacher’, why play matters and the impact of parental beliefs. Find them here.


International Play Association’s Play in crisis:

Support for parent and carers guidebook here.  



The following videos were reviewed in the creation of the WA Play Charter.

International Play Association This is me – Article 31 & a Child’s Right to Play

Video featuring Professor Roger Hart, Director Children’s Environmental Research Group, City University New York, explaining the importance of the United Nations General Comment 17. 

Learning through Landscapes, Scotland – Why play?

Discusses the range of benefits for children’s wellbeing and learning from improving play provision on school grounds.

LEGO Foundation - Introduction to PlayFutures 

The UNICEF partnership – The LEGO group & the LEGO foundation 

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