We are Oxfordshire
Play Association

and play matters

Oxfordshire Play Association (OPA) was established as a charity in 1974 to increase play across Oxfordshire, and to increase awareness of the profound impact that play has on a child’s learning, development and wellbeing. Since then, OPA has been one of the lead organisations promoting high quality play opportunities across the county for all children and young people aged 0-19 years.

OPA’s mission is to champion and to support the rights of all children and young people to have access to high quality inclusive play opportunities.

Purpose and Values

In support of OPA’s mission, emphasis is placed on:

  • Promoting the importance of play in the lives of children and young people
  • Promoting an understanding of play and playwork values
  • Identifying the needs of children and young people in play environments and working positively towards fulfilling these needs
  • Acting as a voice for play leaders and playworkers
  • Promoting and supporting the need for a qualified playwork workforce
  • Providing a range of services to support the creation of high-quality, inclusive playwork settings
  • Support policy makers in making decisions that impact positively on play
  • Provide representation on partnerships and agencies that influence play.

Play - a child's right

OPA are passionate about every child’s right to play.

A child’s right to participate in play and informal recreation is enshrined in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and was ratified by the UK in 1991. Under the convention our government has a duty to protect and promote play opportunities for all children and young people. 

One of OPA's hugely popular free community Playday events

What we do

From organising free community playdays to play equipment hire, from fundraising to training play practitioners, from running youth clubs to creating play strategy and policy for Oxfordshire, OPA does it all! Go to the ‘What We Do’ section for more information about our work.

What we're up to

Just a few of our recent news and events

Summerfest Playday – Princess Diana Park, Banbury

This years ‘Summerfest’ Playday event will take place at Princess Diana Park in Banbury on Wednesday 14th August – See You There!  
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Henley Play & Activity Day 2024

We are delighted to be delivering our first ever Playday event for Henley on Tuesday 13th August – FREE Entrance & FREE Activities See You ...
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Berinsfield Play & Activity Day 2024

We are delighted to be returning to Berinsfield for our FREE annual Playday event on Tuesday 6th August – always a great day with the ...
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Heyford Park Play & Activity Day 2024

We will be delivering our first ever Playday event for Heyford Park on Saturday 3rd August – FREE Entrance & FREE Activities – See You ...
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Banbury Peoples Park Play & Activity Day

It’s our biggest Playday event of the year, so big that we work in close partnership with our wonderful friends at Cherwell District Council to ...
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Faringdon Play & Activity Day 2024

We can’t wait to come back to Faringdon on Friday 2nd August for our annual Playday event! FREE Entrance & FREE Activities!! See You There ...
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What They Say

“What an achievement! Thank you for funding these days so everyone has access to FREE play opportunities!”

Little Oxplorers

“Thank you OPA for your enthusiasm and drive.”


“Fantastic day, today. My mindees loved all of it! Go karting, zorbing, Wall climb, rocket making, face painting, bubbles!! My guys are aged 3 up to 8 and this was perfect. Thank you so much for laying this on.”

Kim 'Hughes' Joslyn