real play (An evaluation of impact)

A study by:

In partnership with 

real play is a captivating programme which supports families through the power of play

"Unquestionably based on the results from the study, real play has had a positive impact on the schools involved."

Aim of study:

To determine how and why real play works for particular families.


  • 15 schools in Hampshire delivered real play between October 2015 and January 2016.
  • Schools delivered weekly 60 minute activity club after school over 8-12 weeks.
  • A sample of teachers and parents were interviewed and completed a research questionnaire which was developed using Q methodology (Brown 1996).

The quotes throughout are provided by Binney Harris and Adeosun from Solent University 2016 unless stated otherwise.

Aimed at children in EYFS/KS1 and their families, real play helps families play and learn together.

The study highlights impact in the following areas:

1. Children's personal social, emotional and thinking skills

"The programme is contributing to the happiness of the children involved and enabling them to gain skills which have allowed them to develop their creativity and expression."
"You can see a difference in the way children approach their tasks in the real play sessions." Teacher
"We have a foster child and he doesn't normally interact with other children but the programme has really helped him express himself." Parent/carer

2. Parent/Carer engagement

"There is an increased confidence amongst parents/carers with regards to spending time at their children's school and interacting with their teachers."
"There is an impact on the development of confidence of parents/carers in helping their children play at home and support their learning."

3. Children's physical development

"real play is a source of improvement for the development of children's physical skills."
"Parents/carers reflected that their children were showing certain physical improvements."

4. Increased family activity levels at home

"There are benefits of real play with regards to helping tackle sedentary behaviour amongst families."
"real play has really helped us come together as a family, especially in the evening and at weekends. It means we are not all just sat around watching television and eating, which is what we normally do." Parent


"The enjoyment and satisfaction that parents/carers, teachers and children gain from the programme is evident by the continuation of the sessions in many of the schools for a second and even third time."
"real play has been the most successful family engagement project we've had in the school." Teacher

Creating positive relationships with physical activity for life

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