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Title: Children Are Back to School, but Is Play Still in Lockdown? Play Experiences, Social Interactions, and Children's Quality of Life in Primary Education in the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020
Authors: Lourenço, Ana
Martins, Fernando 
Pereira, Beatriz 
Mendes, Rui 
Keywords: children; COVID-19; HRQOL; play; primary education; school; peers
Issue Date: 26-Nov-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Project: UIDB/50008/2020 
Serial title, monograph or event: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume: 18
Issue: 23
Abstract: The right to play is crucial for the overall development of children. Several studies highlight the need to have time and space to play, especially at school where children spend much of their time. Unfortunately, in formal education the obsession with academic achievements sidelines and ignores the importance of play. The neglection of play had already reached a critical stage before the pandemic, so data are needed to realize how the right to play in school is presently affected. This paper aims to understand children's play experience in primary education during the pandemic. It investigates what activities children participated in and what materials were used, and provides insight into the social interactions between peers. Furthermore, children's quality of life is explored. A group of 370 Portuguese children answered a questionnaire on play and social interactions, alongside with Peds 4.0TM on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The results showed that recess still emerges as a significant element of children's daily lives, but COVID-19 has brought limitations on play experiences and peer-interaction. It might also have impacted HRQOL, especially in emotional functioning. Since play, health and well-being are closely connected, play opportunities at school are crucial in helping children to thrive in the pandemic, and should be invested in.
ISSN: 1660-4601
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph182312454
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CIDAF - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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