While the structure and opportunity for child play has changed across the generations, there is little empirical evidence on how it has changed and the potential impact on child development. Focus group interviews were used to retrospectively explore perceptions of play with 35 participants.
Thematic analysis identified themes including active versus passive play, creative play, freedom to play, social / group play and solitary / lone play. Changing play patterns were linked to obesity and health in children. This exploratory data provides some evidence of the ways in which play has changed and provides a basis for future study.