This article explores how animal-assisted play might be used as a strategy in playwork to support children’s right to play, enrich their play experiences, encourage their physical activity play and better their health and life quality. Children’s interactions with pets or companion animals in free play or animal-assisted activities (AAA) can yield therapeutic benefits by increasing physical and mental health and well-being and also offer possibilities for more outdoor play, agency, risk-taking, fun and enjoyment, as well as high-quality play experiences. We invite playwork practitioners to consider the important role of animals in children’s lives and the potential value of animal-assisted play in creating opportunities for enriching children’s play and life quality.
Boisvert, J. A., & Harrell, W. (2021). Animal-Assisted Play: A Strategy for Promoting Children’s Physical Activity Play. International Journal of Playwork Practice, 2(1), Article 1. https://doi.org/10.25035/ijpp.02.01.06
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