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Let's Talk About Play! Council Asking For Children's Input To Play Park Strategy

27th September 2023

The Highland Council is in the process of developing a Playpark Strategy and would love children to be at the heart of the conversation.

To steer its strategy in the right direction the Council would like to find out how children want to play in the future and what they want to see in their local playparks.

Highland Council aims to reach as many people as possible, and is asking children of all ages, teenagers, parents, and caregivers to complete a questionnaire to capture their views.

The Council's 321 free-to-use playparks are an ideal and important environment to support children's physical and emotional learning through self-directed play.

They are easy to get to, free visit and a great place to meet friends. Albert Einstein famously said: "Play is the highest form of research."

Playparks support children in learning to develop adult skills such as negotiating, communication, building positive relationships, creativity, teamwork, problem solving, resilience, knowing how to have fun, and community belonging.

Such skills help create intrinsic and inspired lifelong learners, many who will remain in our amazing region.

Chair of Highland Council’s Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Graham Mackenzie, said: "We understand not all children may want to participate, but the more responses we have the more we can listen to what Highland children want to see in their play parks.

“I would encourage parents, carers and guardians to complete a questionnaire and to help their young ones fill in questionnaire too."

He added: “This project reflects the Council’s Our Future Highland programme. In particular, ‘Our Highland Today’, which addresses the harms created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council’s programme seeks to address short to medium term priorities to mitigate the impacts of this crisis where it can.”

Highland Council actively supports all children and youths by valuing, protecting, and developing their individual and unique skills as they journey towards learning the skills of adult life.

Each age group has its own age-appropriate questions. Many children have a good idea of their ‘favourite’ things to do at playparks; and equally what they don’t want to see.

The questions have been designed so Early Year Practitioners, teachers, caregivers, and parents can create a relaxed conversation with younger children and then complete the form on the child’s behalf.

For children who are at the beginning stages of reading, adults can support them through the easy colours and photos. The only ‘required’ answer is the area in which you live. All other questions can be completed as able.

The Council appreciates everyone’s support with this exciting opportunity to shape the future of Highland playparks.

Please ensure questionnaires are completed by 5pm Friday 20 October 2023.

The following link will direct everyone to the questionnaire: