Children-playing-gamesPlay Development 

Play can be experienced in a variety of settings including parks, woods, beaches, local streets and indoor spaces.


It is vital to children's health and wellbeing that they have access to good quality play opportunities. These can be undertaken by children on their own without adult supervision. They can also be supported by playworkers in playschemes, Play Ranger sessions, afterschool clubs and events or by parents/guardians within the home and in the fantastic range of outdoor spaces in the Vale. 


Our play provisions are run on an open access basis and can be held in a number of different spaces/places including schools, woods, beaches, parks and community centres.


Benefits of Play

Play has many benefits for children, families and the wider community. Some of these include:

  • increasing confidence through the development of new skills

  • improving physical and mental health

  • promoting imagination, creativity and independence

  • building resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving and dealing with new situations

  • providing the opportunity to mix with other children of all abilities and backgrounds

  • fantasy play can be a way of children making sense of difficult or distressing aspects of their life

  • play can be fun and relaxing, a way of relieving or having time away from anxiety and stress

  • when playing, children and young people do not have to conform to adult agendas

  • having lots of fun!


We provide all children with a child-centred, challenging, friendly and fun place to play. We encourage and support all children to explore, experiment, experience and discover all aspects of play provided. Play comes in many forms. Examples of the types of play include:


  • Outdoor play - using the fantastic outdoor environment that the Vale has to offer including country parks, beaches, woodlands, parks and open spaces.

  • Messy play - children need to experience getting muddy, wet and covered in paint and goo! It enables them to explore different textures, experiment and is lots of fun!

  • Sensory play - it is important to enable children to experience different senses such as smell and touch.

  • Creative/imaginative play - this helps young children to develop their senses through exploration and discovery, building, creating, devising and role play.




Kids in a circle


These are run in community buildings such as schools, churches and community centres. They target 5-11 year olds and are usually run for 1 hour and 55 minutes per session. During the session children can choose to participate in activities such as arts and crafts, board games, water play and sports. To register for a space pop along on the first day when a parent/guardian will need to complete a registration form. This provision is free.

Group of children jumping

Play Rangers

These sessions are for children aged 5-11 years. Adults can attend the sessions with their children. Play Rangers sessions take place outdoors in parks and open spaces. Activities include den building, clay modelling, bug shelters and tree climbing. Please check the Facebook page/website on the day in the case of poor weather to check that the provision is still taking place. To register for a space pop along on the first day when a parent/guardian will need to complete a registration form. This provision is free.

Happy family of five

Family Fun Days

These events are targeted at families and usually take place in outdoor spaces such as parks. A range of activities can be delivered including arts & crafts, junk modelling, mod roc, giant outdoor games and sports. These are opportunities where you can just turn up and join in the fun. Please check the Facebook page/website on the day in the case of poor weather to check that the provision is still taking place.

Child Fishing Net

Forest/Beach Schools

These can take place in parks, woodlands, beaches and open spaces and aim to make use of the Vale's beautiful natural environment. The sessions are usually delivered in 6 sessions over a 6 week period. During the sessions the children have a chance to look at the variety of flora and fauna in the area, climb trees, develop den building skills and look at the unique landscape that is available in the Vale. Please keep an eye on our social media/website to see if these are still available.


Families First Holiday Club

We are able to offer a comprehensive service to ensure disabled children can access play opportunities through our Families First Holiday Club during school holidays. During these sessions children will have access to a range of play opportunities to meet their individual needs. The support offered includes one to one support, a registered nurse and personal care assistant where possible. Spaces must be pre-booked and are limited. To find out more information e-mail


Recruitment of Play staff and Volunteers

Staff and volunteers will have the opportunity to work on a number of Play Schemes and Play Rangers opportunities. As well as working in partnership with the Sports Development Team, Tourism and Events Team and other organisations to run Family Fun Days and Play Events across the Vale.


Successful candidates will have the opportunity to attend training opportunities including:

  • Outdoor Play / Sensory Play

  • Disability Awareness

  • First Aid

  • Risk Assessments

  • Manual Handling

  • Child Protection



Play Sufficiency Assessment

The Welsh Government is the first Government in the World to legislate for children's play. 


They acknowledge that children have a fundamental right to be able to play and therefore they are committed to improving opportunities for all children and young people to play in safety.


To demonstrate their commitment to driving this agenda forward, in November 2012 the Welsh Government placed a duty on all local authorities to assess the sufficiency of play opportunities in their area and produce an accompanying action plan to improve play opportunities available. 


In 2019 each Local Authority had to assess the play opportunities available and write an accompanying action plan. Below is an overview report of the Play Suficiency Assessment process and findings. As part of the process a play survey was undertaken. An overview report of the results of the survey is below