The Case for Play

For three months between September and November 2015, Sense undertook a public inquiry into the provision of play opportunities for children aged 0-5 with multiple needs in England and Wales.

The inquiry was established in response to feedback received from families of children with multiple needs who had expressed concerns that they had fewer opportunities to access play services and settings in comparison to families with non-disabled children. Guidance on learning to play with their children is also the most common request from families who access support from Sense.

The Case for Play Inquiry was designed to provide an evidence base and thorough understanding of the following questions:

  1. What are the benefits of play for children with multiple needs?
  2. Do barriers exist to young children with multiple needs accessing play settings and activities? If so, what are these?
  3. What can be done to increase access to play opportunities for young children with multiple needs?

The Case for Play report

Read the report in an online magazine format on Issuu
Download the PDF (1.3MB)
Download the Word document (100KB)
Download the Wales version of the report PDF in English (1.6MB) or Welsh (3.3MB)

Toolkits for families and play settings

Following the Play campaign, Sense has developed toolkits for parents and professionals, to provide them with a practical guide about how to make play activities accessible for children with multiple needs. The toolkits contain simple ideas, suggestions and practical tips on making play activities and settings more inclusive.  Each activity is complemented with instructional videos.

View the play toolkits - Making play inclusive


If you are interested in accessing children’s specialist services and need to discuss referral, please contact the Information and Advice service.


First published: Friday 19 February 2016
Updated: Wednesday 2 August 2017