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Caring for children to keep them feeling safe and well isn’t easy during difficult times – but it’s a challenge parents and carers rise to. Current crises range from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change to poverty and war. These crises around the world have a significant impact on children and those who love and care for them.

At times of crisis, playing is your child’s way to cope

IPA developed the Play in Crisis: Support for Parents and Carers resources in 2020 to help children, families and carers during the coronavirus crisis. A new translation available in Ukrainian (2022) has been adapted in response to the war in Ukraine. (You can find this by clicking through to the ‘translations’ page.)The guide provides information and practical ideas to support children’s play. We have included topics such as the importance of playing in times of crisis, playing when you cannot go outside,  and issues that may concern you like children playing with difficult themes of loss, death and loneliness.

IPA recognizes playing as a basic and vital part of the pleasure of childhood. We see it as an essential part of all aspects of children’s development. During times of crisis, play has a significant therapeutic role helping children recover a sense of normality and joy.

The mission of IPA is to protect, preserve and promote the child’s right to play as a fundamental human right. We hope these resources will help fulfil that mission while assisting parents and carers during a particularly difficult time. We encourage you to share these resources widely throughout your networks.

Together we can ensure our children have the opportunities to play that are essential for them to thrive.

A special thanks to Play Wales for their role in creating these documents.

Click on the image above to download the entire resource in English. Click on the individual images below for access to individual pages on specific topics.