The Commissioner has released a new report titled Press Play – Activating young people’s health and wellbeing through play.

It covers the findings of a survey undertaken by 500 South Australian young people aged 13 – 18 on the importance of play in their lives.

It was particularly interesting to hear the views on this subject because so much of the research around the importance of play has focussed on play for young children. Rarely has the importance of play for teenagers been examined.

Young people said they had little or no time for play in their current lifestyles as they were too busy and too tired to engage in play. Neither do they have the support of parents or other adults in their lives to exercise their right to play, saying higher priority is placed on completing schoolwork or engaging in extra curricular activities.

Young people were unanimous in their interest to have more time made available for play, particularly while they were at school, saying their overall engagement with the learning agenda would be significantly enhanced if educators took a more playful approach to its delivery.