Why play is important
Play is essential for growth in cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. It builds fundamental physical literacy, fosters creativity and innovation, builds ability to identify and manage risk. Play contributes to not only children’s lives but also the wellbeing of their families, whānau and wider community.
"Play is where children practice life"
- spontaneous – it will happen anywhere
- freely chosen and self determined
- fun, accessible, challenging, social and repeatable
- for no purpose.
Play is the foundation of Sport New Zealand’s Physical Literacy Approach. Sport New Zealand has developed seven Principles of Play that advocate for the importance of play in young New Zealander’s lives.
On this page you'll find some of the ways we hope to support and empower our communities to understand and appreciate play, and create more opportunities for local play in our communities.
Tākaro to play
The Tākaro to play report (PDF 5.4 MB) has been produced by Hutt City Council, Healthy Families Lower Hutt and Sport NZ. It features data from our local play events, Play in the Hutt research, and insights from whānau.
The recommendations made in the report aim to answer one question - how do we enable our tamariki and rangatahi to play more everyday?
Play in the Hutt research
We asked children and families across Lower Hutt about their experiences of play.
96% of Lower Hutt parents reported their children are not playing every day. Parental fears such as traffic, strangers, and dogs make up more than 53% of the barriers preventing children from playing freely in their neighbourhoods.
Play in the Hutt research snapshot (PDF 3.7 MB)
Our play initiatives
Local play champions
Play is currently a hot topic in our city - get involved in the conversation.
We're currently building a tribe of community Play Champions, to help make our neighbourhoods healthy, safe, lively and playful spaces. We hope to work with them to discuss, develop and resource projects and interventions.
We're also interested in growing the sample size of our Hutt wide survey so get in touch if you want to participate.
Maybe you have some ideas for how to bring your community to life? Maybe a bit of paint and a basketball hoop is all that it will take?
To be part of the buzz email email@example.com
Cummings Kilgariff & Co Build & Play Trailer
Engaging Construction play for Lower Hutt Primary Schools.
Build & Play offers children opportunities for free, creative (and occasionally risky) play. The trailer load is full of tools including: saws, hammers, and hand drills, and materials they can use: timber, PVC pipes, tennis balls, and recycled items.
Each school receives a risk assessment and programme training, along with recommendations on running the programme for the best results.
Local educators are telling us that this resource presents a superb opportunity for authentic learning and engaged students.
To book the trailer email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hutt City Council Sport + Play trailer
Sport and play for your community or event.
Similar to Build & Play, the Sport + Play initiative is a trailer-load of gear which we hope will drive playfulness in Hutt communities. The gear includes bats, balls, nets, hoops and more.
The trailer can be hired for a minimum of 1 week and a maximum of 1 month, to support play opportunities in schools, churches and communities. To book the trailer, email email@example.com. You'll need to pay a $50 refundable deposit to secure it for use.
Removing cost as a barrier to being active.
Action Replay has re-homed over 8,000 items of sports gear into communities where money creates obstacles to play. You can get involved in Action Replay in two ways:
- If you have a library card you can head on down to Wainuiomata Library and hire full sets of sports gear for two weeks at a time.
- You can donate your quality used sports gear to us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a pick up time.
Community play days
Celebrating unstructured play in our local communities.
Each summer we run play days at local reserves in our suburbs. Bring your family (and a picnic) and experience play with things like junk, water, sport and art. You can expect water slides, water guns, tree climbing and swingball - plus more!
To see what events we have coming up, keep an eye on the In The Hutt Facebook page.
To request an event at a reserve near your place or even your street, email email@example.com
Get in touch
If you have any questions about any of these initiatives please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org