National Play Day
Since 2011, the DCYA has provided annual funding to support National Play Day. The aim of National Play Day is to help increase public awareness of the importance of play. Grants(maximum of €650) are offered to Local Authorities to organise activities that promote a theme that is decided by DCYA and the Local Authority Play and Recreation Network. The theme for National Play Day 2015 was ‘natural play’ and applications for projects creating opportunities for play that involves natural elements –water, sand, trees, rocks, beaches etc. were invited. A variety of projects were including activities involving water play; sand pits; mud kitchen; making bat boxes using natural materials; sand sculpting; Forest School Activities; family day on the bog; and orienteering in a mixed environment nature park. 22 Local Authorities staged Play Day events in 2015.
National Recreation Week
National Recreation Week is funded by the DCYA for older children and young people aged 12 upwards. A maximum of €1,700 is available under fund to each Local Authority. The theme for National Recreation week is identified annually by the DCYA and the Local Authority Play and Recreation Network. In 2015 the theme was ‘using the natural environment’ and 23 Local Authorities were funded under the scheme. Among the events funded by DCYA were: orienteering in a forest park; mountain bike trails and using natural environment for team building exercises; using local drift wood and stones from a local beach for a creative workshop; organised beach and woodland walks; archery, canoeing, and dragon boating