Alliance launches second National Week of Play focused on protecting the planet through play

Kathy Oxtoby
Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Early Years Alliance has announced details for its second National Week of Play in June, which is centred on eco-sustainability.

The Early Years Alliance has announced plans for its second National Week of Play in June.

The week will be focused specifically on ‘eco-sustainability and how by opening children’s eyes to the awe and wonder of the world through play, we can support their growing understanding of how important it is to protect it’, the Alliance said.

The Alliance’s National Week of Play will run from 13-19 June, and will be targeted at both parents and those working in the early years sector.

Building a lifelong relationship with the natural world

‘At a time when there is – rightly – a growing focus on the need to take urgent action to safeguard the future of our planet, the event will aim to explore what role the early years sector can play in helping young children to build a lifelong relationship with the natural world,’ the Alliance said.

The early years organisation said the National Week of Play will ‘encourage and inspire early years professionals to sow the seeds of sustainability, and nurture them in every child whilst supporting parents to discover and explore play ideas that champion eco-sustainability in the home’.

The National Week of Play will celebrate play through a range of activities, including:

  • A podcast with Christina and Robbie Dee from the Forest School Learning Initiative. Robbie and Christina will be reflecting on the many ways that ‘playful’ outdoor learning experiences can help children to connect with nature. They will also discuss how children can gain a sense of belonging as they come to understand, appreciate, and care for the natural environment through first-hand experiences.
  • A range of tips, ideas and activities for early year professionals to try throughout the week.
  • Ideas and resources to encourage parents and carers to get involved. Those working in early years settings will also have the chance to win a Modular Mud Kitchen from forest school and outdoor play specialist Muddy Faces worth £380.

‘Play has a vital place in childhood’

Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said: ‘Play has a vital and irreplaceable place in childhood, and as early years providers, we have a unique opportunity to help encourage, inspire and educate young children on important topics, such as the need to protect the environment, through play.

‘Over recent years, there has – rightly – been a growing awareness of the importance of eco-sustainability, and so there has never been a better time to instil a sense of responsibility, and an understanding of our role in safeguarding the future of our planet, in our youngest children. But doing so doesn’t have to be dull or lecturing, and through our National Week of Play, we will be celebrating how play can be used to educate young children on eco-sustainability in a way that is both meaningful and fun.

‘Using a range of free resources, materials, blogs and activities, both providers and parents will be well-equipped with the tools they need to support children's growing understanding of the wonders of the world through play and how important it is to protect it.

‘We hope as many providers as possible will sign up to take part in the week, and we look forward to celebrating it with you all in June.’

Parents and early years professionals can register their interest in taking part in the Alliance’s National Week of Play at


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