Children across Wales should have more time to play in schools, according to International Play Association Cymru Wales and Play Wales.

Today, Tuesday, June 11, in sync with the first ever International Day of Play, a joint call has been issued urging schools to ensure enough playtime for all children.

They propose extending lunch breaks or adding an additional playtime as possible interventions.

The appeal is backed by research from across Wales which indicates that school playtimes are important to children.

98 per cent of the children surveyed indicated excitement for school playtime, 82 per cent said they particularly enjoy playtime as it offers a chance to engage with friends.

However, 61 per cent admitted having missed playtimes, either due to catching up with the workload or disciplinary sanctions by teachers.

The research highlights the significance of playtime in a school day and its value for children.

Advocates stress that play is paramount for children's physical, mental, social and emotional health and overall wellbeing.

They believe schools can actively contribute to children's health and wellbeing by safeguarding playtime.

The call to action is clear: every child in Wales should have extended playtime, starting on International Day of Play.

Presently marked on June 11 of every year, the International Day of Play is a United Nations designated day designed to celebrate children’s right to play and its crucial importance for their wellbeing.

The day is intended to globally increase awareness of children's need for play.

Marianne Mannello, the branch secretary of IPA Cymru Wales, emphasised the importance of offering children more opportunities to play, stating: "We need to give children more opportunities to play – not just on the International Day of Play, but every day of the year.

"During the school day, children should be given plenty of time and space to play freely with their friends.

"The International Day of Play falls on a school day this year, so it is a perfect opportunity for schools to protect playtime and think about how more time for play can be integrated into every day."

Similarly, Mike Greenaway, director of Play Wales, stressed the role of schools, saying: "Schools in Wales have a major role in promoting the right to play for children and teenagers.

"When we have asked them, most children say that playtimes are an important part of the school day and they especially like playtime as it allows them to spend time with their friends.

"However, too many children say they have missed out on playtime to catch up with work or because a teacher feels they had misbehaved.

"We encourage all schools to ensure that all children have plenty of time to play in school, on International Day of Play, and every day."