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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night from Holyrood Live

    Holyrood at night

    That concludes Holyrood Live's coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 14 March 2017.

  2. That concludes the debate on Play Scotland's Play Charter

    Children playing.
  3. Minister says a series of trials looking at outdoor play are being run

    children's play
    Image caption: Minister says a series of trials looking at outdoor play are being run.

    Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald says a series of trials looking at outdoor play are being run.

    Mr McDonald says: "Fundamental to children's development I believe, is exploratory play."

    He says: "Inclusive play is very important and something he wants to see encouraged much more widely."

    The minister says he will raise an issue with the housing minister about new developments having suitable play areas.

  4. 'Play is crucial for a child's healthy development'

    Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald
    Image caption: Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald

    Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald thanks Play Scotland for their work in the area.

    Mr McDonald says play is central to Scotland's National Play strategy.

    The childcare and early years minister says the play charter will add to this.

    He says "play is crucial for a child's healthy development" and that the imagination of a child can take you anywhere or make you anything.

  5. Restrictions to play are counterproductive and they can be destructive

    Green MSP Ross Greer
    Image caption: Green MSP Ross Greer

    Green MSP Ross Greer says there is a lack of esteem for physical and creative components of the Curriculum for Excellence.

    Mr Greer says restrictions to play are counterproductive and they can be destructive.

    The Green MSP says many MSPs have reminisced about theiry childhood play and confesses his childhood play was not that long ago.

    The youngest MSP says he played with Rona Mackay's son as they were in the same Cub's group and he suspects he may suffer for this comment later on.

    Mr Greer congratulates Play Scotland as being a great focal point for professionals and practitioners in early years.

  6. Play should be offered at all levels in school and in all aspects of the community says SNP MSP

    SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor
    Image caption: SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor

    SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor says play should be offered at all levels in school and in all aspects of the community.

    Mr Macgregor says he also grew up in the 1980s and there was plenty of opportunity to play. 

    The SNP MSP says there was an area he used to call "the grass" where he used to play and which now has a "no ball games" sign. 

  7. Labour MSP highlights the importance of play in the early development of children

    Labour MSP Iain Gray
    Image caption: Labour MSP Iain Gray

    Labour MSP Iain Gray highlights the importance of play in the early development of children.

    Mr Gray says it is quite remarkable no matter how difficult the circumstances, be it war or unimaginable poverty, children still play and exercise their imaginations.

    He says, on the issue of play in Scotland, "we could do better."

    Mr Gray says play must be embedded in early learning.

  8. 'We should not lose sight of the real benefits of play from an early age'

    SNP MSP Clare Haughey
    Image caption: SNP MSP Clare Haughey

    SNP MSP Clare Haughey says "we as parents can sometimes find it too easy to fear for the safety of children."

    Ms Haughey says "we should not lose sight of the real benefits of play from an early age." 

    The SNP MSP says children that play outside with other grow up to be healthy curious adults.

    She says outdoor play is a great leveler and that not all children are interested in a football pitch or are able to take full advantages of facilities. 

    She says she has signed up to be a play champion and she urges others to do the same.

  9. 'Switch of the television and go and do something more useful instead'

    Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour

    Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour highlights the benefit he got by watching the TV programme Why Don't You in his youth.

    He cites their slogan to "Switch of the television and go and do something more useful instead."

    Mr Balfour apologises for not coming to the reception as he is going to rush home to play with his children.

    He praises Dad's Rock in Edinburgh which encourages fathers to play with their children.

    The Conservative MSP says we need to look at how to encourage all fathers and mothers to take the time to interact with their children. 

  10. 88% of households now have access to a play area

    SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson
    Image caption: SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson

    SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says, thanks to Play Scotland, this charter is now a reality. 

    Mr Gibson says he lived in Kelvingrove until the age of eight, building dens and climbing trees.

    The SNP MSP talks about playing "rough and tumble" with his children saying that his daughter was much more violent and unforgiving, at this game, than her two brothers. 

    He says 88% of households now have access to a play area. 

  11. Green MSP says children's activity drops off as early as seven years old

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone says she shares Daniel Johnson's approval of the play out days.

    Ms Johnstone says it turns the street into a place for people.

    The Grreen MSP says we all can do more to safeguard the rights of children and the right to play is absolutely central to this.

    She says children's activity drops off as early as seven years old and she calls for a cultural shift.

    Developing more child centered communities is absolutley crucial, she says.

  12. One in six children in Scotland do not have access to outdoor space

    Labour MSP Daniel Johnson
    Image caption: Labour MSP Daniel Johnson

    Labour MSP Daniel Johnson says he is glad of the opportunity to contribute to this debate because it gives him the opportunity to talk about his children.

    Mr Johnson says his 18-month-old daughter has started playing and  this is so important because it helps with development and learning. 

    The Labour MSP says it is so concerning that the children's area where they are able to play has shrunk since the 1970s.

    He says there can also be huge benefits for parents if a child is able to play. He says one in six children in Scotland do not have access to outdoor space.

  13. SNP MSP says children have a right to play

    SNP MSP Rona Mackay
    Image caption: SNP MSP Rona Mackay

    SNP MSP Rona Mackay says children have a right to play and it teachers our children social skills and how to be sociable and responsible.

    Ms Mackay welcomes Play Scotland's campaigning through the charter to put pla at the heart of policy.

    She says she would be happy to be a play champion.

  14. 'We are obsessed with keeping our children still'

    Tory MSP Brian Whittle
    Image caption: Tory MSP Brian Whittle

    Tory MSP Brian Whittle says this is a topic very close to his heart. 

    Mr Whittle says the attainment gap cannot be closed without addressing the physical issues that exist.

    The Tory MSP says if a child is given the opportunity to play outside the classroom they are more likely to perform well inside the classroom.

    He says "we are obsessed with keeping our children still".

    "Children weren't built to sit still. Good grief, I'm not built to sit still," he says.