Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Health and Recreation Department

Play // Category

Category based archive
20 Feb

Residents are invited to come along and have their say on a proposed play park in Avenue Road.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is hosting a public meeting at Avenue Road Community Centre on Wednesday 27th February at 7.00pm to discuss the equipment, layout and design.

At the meeting residents will be given the chance to have their questions answered about the proposed play area and learn how council aims to implement the good practise design principles outlined within its play strategy, enhancing play value at existing sites and ensuring the future new development delivers a quality play experience for everyone.

For more information, contact the play development officer on 0300 0300 900.

04 Feb

“Play is crucial to children’s healthy development and happiness and is vital for children’s mental health and wellbeing.”

It is through playing that children, from a very young age, engage with and learn about the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore the world, developing lifelong skills and competencies. From birth through to teenage years, babies and children develop important social and emotional skills through watching, listening and interacting with you and through their play. Good play experiences can therefore help nurture children’s emotional and mental health.

Life often throws challenges our way and it through talking, listening, interacting and playing that children learn to deal with these situations and develop new knowledge and coping skills.

As parents remember you play a vital role in encouraging children to be healthy:

  • Make time for fun and “down time” with your children, especially as they get older.
  • Enjoy some time watching, listening and playing with your child.
  • Allow your child to learn from their own mistakes with support.
  • Give your child age appropriate freedoms and help them learn their own limits. Show them you trust them to make appropriate decisions.
29 Jan

Evidence suggests that time spent in the natural environment offers developmental, emotional and overall health benefits for children. There are numerous benefits ranging from increased creativity and problem solving skills, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased physical activity.

Children who spend time outdoors in natural environments can be:

  • Happier – studies show fresh air, sunshine and increased activity levels all encourage good mood and reduce tendencies toward poor mental health.
  • Healthier – being outdoors in the natural environment helps children to access fresh air and vitamin D; indoor air is usually less healthy.
  • Calmer – exposure to nature and being outdoors can contribute to a healthy heart rate and reduced muscle tension including the production of stress hormones.
  • More physically active – children playing in natural environments can improve their motor fitness, coordination, balance and agility.
  • Better vision – being outdoors is good for eye health and time spent outdoors can help reduce short-sightedness in children.

“There’s no way that we can help children to learn to love and preserve this planet, if we don’t give them direct experiences with the miracles and blessings of nature.” – Anita Olds

17 Dec

Children have an innate urge to play from birth right through to teenage years. Freely chosen play is critically important for all children as part of their everyday lives and access to quality, unstructured play is known to help improve children and young people’s overall health, well-being and development.

During the early years of children’s lives parents are encouraged to play with their children; these early play experiences can help create a bond and attachment between parents and their children. Good play experiences will help children to develop many skills such as self-confidence, self-esteem, curiosity, independence, and resilience.

As children grow older they may not call free activity as playing but might prefer for it to be called hanging out or chilling out. It is critically important that adults remember to allow children and young people the time and space to ‘hang out or chill out’. It is during pre-teen/teenage years that children and young people seek greater independence away from their parents/ adults. Friends and friendship groups become very significant and healthy friendships are important.

For more information on how Play Matters visit

07 Nov
Winter is here and it’s getting colder and darker – but it’s still a great time for getting children of all ages outdoors. We just need to EMBRACE the weather!

Have a playful and positive attitude towards the winter season; show your children that winter can be fun. Try to model ways to be playful …. stamp your feet on ice patches or in puddles, have a snowball fight, play in the rain, make snow angels or snowmen! Take a breath of that cold winter air and remember that whatever you do outdoors you are supporting your children’s health, wellbeing and happiness.

19 Oct
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are developing a new five year Aquatics Framework for the Borough for 2019 – 2024. The Framework will focus on working together with key stakeholders to develop the area of aquatics, which includes all aspects of swimming pool related activities and outdoor swimming.

As part of this consultation process we are seeking the opinions of as many members of the public as possible whether you currently participate in council run swimming activities or not.

17 Sep

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will be holding two public meetings in the Brownlow area of Craigavon this fortnight as it forges ahead with implementing its play strategy and delivering its ambitious programme of improving outdoor play provision for all children across the borough.

With a public meeting organised in the Moyraverty and Tullygally areas, residents in each locality are encouraged to engage with the council and play an active role in bringing exciting play development proposals to fruition.

The Moyraverty play park meeting will be held on Thursday 20 September at 7pm in Drumgor Detached Youth Centre (formerly Moyraverty Community Centre), followed by the Tullygally play park meeting on Thursday 27 September at 7pm in Tullygally Youth Centre.

These public meetings present a unique opportunity for members of the local community to share their views on site preference, design and layout of the play park along with choice of play equipment.

The council is committed to ensuring its extensive portfolio of play parks are maintained to the highest standards, developed to meet local need and well designed to provide quality play experiences for children in all parts of the borough.

24 Aug

Play Matters: Space, Place and Permission to Play

Space, place and permission are interrelated factors that have a significant impact on children’s play experiences. Due to an array of environmental, technological and societal factors, opportunities for children to play freely outdoors are on the decline.

The relationship between environmental opportunities for play and the wind fall benefits to children’s development and well-being has been researched and studied, the findings are clear – playing, particularly playing outdoors is good for both body and mind.

The environment we provide for children and the messages we emit, be they overt or subliminal, crucially influence the way children play and learn. Having a designated place to play or access to play space is fantastic, but without permission, all the space and time in the world is worthless.

PlayBoard’s 2018 conference ‘Play Matters: space, place and permission to play’ recognises the importance of outdoor play for young children’s healthy growth, learning and development.

Attend this year’s conference and explore how the voluntary sector, local authorities and statutory partners are working together to improve the provision and delivery of play.

Date: Tuesday October 16 2018
Venue: Riddel Hall, Stranmillis, Belfast.
Time: 9am – 4pm

Input from a diverse range of speakers from the fields of play, education, health, psychology, and environmental design shall encourage conference attendees to have a better understanding of the interrelatedness of space, place and permission to play.

Play has the unique quality of adding joy to our lives. Our conference will explore how you can add quality and variety to the play and learning opportunities of children and young people in Northern Ireland and beyond.

24 Aug

Come down to our Back to School Play Day on 30th August with a fantastic day of fun FREE activities for children of all ages to enjoy!


The Play Day events kick off in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Mourneview Community Centre from 12pm to 2pm followed by a Tea Dance event in Mourneview from 2pm to 4pm.


Come along for some Old School games, Hopscotch, Rhymes, Skipping, indoor and outdoor games, art workshops and Create and Play experience.


Then stick about for some live music, fancy bakes/sandwiches and bring your dancing shoes down to join in the fun at the Tea Dance.


There is no need to book in advance, both events are run on a drop in basis – so for a fun day of FREE activities why not come along and have a go!

20 Jul


Celebrate National Play Day on Wednesday 1st August with a fantastic day of fun FREE activities for children of all ages to enjoy!


As part of the annual celebration of children’s right to play and its importance in their lives, the National Play Day events kick off in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Lurgan Park from 10am to 1pm followed by an afternoon event in Portadown People’s Park from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.


Climb aboard the Belfast Playbus and enjoy lots of soft play fun or for the more energetic have a go at scaling the climbing wall.  With a range of art and craft workshops, face painting, inflatable games, balloon modelling, fun games and much more – there is something for everyone!


There is no need to book in advance, both events are run on a drop in basis – so for a fun day of FREE activities why not come along and have a go!

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