Research finds Covid-19 restrictions impact on children’s play

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the quality of play within early years classrooms, as well as the impact on children’s engagement, social interaction and emotional well-being was focus of a new report.

Play in Practice during the pandemic image

The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) was pleased to collaborate with PlayBoard NI and Stranmillis University College. The research focused on nursery and Foundation stage (Years 1 and 2 of primary schooling), with the online survey completed by 291 teachers between January and March 2021.

Tracey Woods, Schools’ Support Officer, CSSC said: “We are delighted to have contributed to this work which highlights the significant work of schools in facilitating playful learning opportunities that positively impact on children’s educational outcomes and their emotional health and wellbeing”.   

Over half of respondents (58.6%) felt that restrictions impacted negatively on children in terms of their social skills, their levels of independence, their ability to stay on task and overall enhanced anxiety. However, a sizeable minority (41.4%) indicated that children were more independent in terms of self-care routines, more settled in class, happier and more relaxed, and displayed increased levels of resilience and coping skills.

A number of recommendations contained within the report are aimed at enhancing the capacity of settings to continue to provide a high-quality playful learning experience in practice.

Read ‘Play in practice during the Pandemic – nursery and foundation stagefull and summary reports 


10 June 2021