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About Vale Play

Kara and Kirsty started out in 2000 coming together to do what they love. Little did they know that it would grow into three successful clubs in the Vale of Glamorgan. 


Passion and enthusiasm go hand-in-hand with everything we do and we are proud to bring together people from all over Saint Mary Church and beyond.


We’d love to share all that Vale Play has to offer..........


Importance Of Play

Play is an essential part of every child’s life and is vital for the enjoyment of childhood as well as for social, physical, intellectual, creative, emotional development. Children also gain flexibility, freedom and have fun. Through play children also develop resilience through taking risks, dealing with new and novel situations and helps them develop skills which will help them through life such as communication skills, problem solving, trail and error, social rules, social skills, increases their self awareness, self esteem and self respect. It is through play that children learn to engage and interact in the world around them and provides opportunities to learn about their environment and the wider community. It also allows them to increase in confidence through developing new skills, promotes their imagination and independence. Play improves vocabulary, cognitive skills, organisational skills, helps to regulate emotions and strengthens social skills.


Play provision has an important role in offering places where children can enjoy the kind of challenging, self directed every day play experiences that previous generations took for granted. 

As adults/play workers we need to recognise the invention styles to allow children to freely choose and develop their own play to allow children to get the most out of their play. Adults/ Play workers need to allow children to decide what is appropriate behaviour, decide why they play the content/intent of play to allow children to lead their own play. Play workers should not interrupt their play. Allow children to explore their own values and improve on their own performance. 

Play is a biological drive it has little to do with adults and adult intervention can damage the process. 

The Welsh Government recognises the importance of play and states ‘Play is so critically important to all children in the development of their physical, social, mental, emotional and creative skills that society should seek every opportunity to support it and create and environment that fosters it.’ 

Internationally, the importance of play is also recognised by the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) ‘Play and recreation are essential to the health and wee being of children and promote the development of creativity, imagination, self confidence, self efficacy, as well as physical, social, cognitive, and emotional strength and skills.’


As children grow they develop and learn new skills as toddler start with parallel play, learning through experiment, exploration, taking risks, communication development. Once they reach school age they continue to develop their fine and gross motor skills. They foster development for language and socialization. Play cycle, friendships, boundaries and experimenting.



Kara Oakley


Kirsty Clarke


Karen James
Nursery Nurse/Playworker


Sarah Herbert
Nursery Nurse/Playworker



We regularly send out questionnaires to our parents at Vale Play and below are some comments we have received;

‘Excellent snack choices’

‘Staff are brilliant always friendly approachable and professional’

‘Well-resourced play area and activities’ 

‘Brilliant use of outdoor space and scooters’

‘Superb caring fun and friendly team’ 

‘Activities and things to take home’

‘Updates on social media’

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