Developing playwork practice internationally for over 20 years

Common Threads supports adults who work with children to develop their playwork practice through training, publications and research.

PARS Playwork Practice – an alternative approach to working with children

Playwork is an alternative approach to working with children, invented by the UK adventure playground pioneers. PARS is the first holistic model of playwork practice, created from research by Dr Shelly Newstead. Thousands of adults working in a range of different settings around the world are now using PARS to free up time and space for children to be children in supervised settings.

PARS Playwork Training

Our international team of PARS Licensed Trainers offer online, face-to-face and in-house training at all levels. Common Threads Playwork is an NCFE International Award Centre, and many of our programmes are accredited by NCFE.

Accredited Courses

Adults working with children in any setting can receive a recognised certificate for our PARS Playwork Practice Customised Qualifications, which are externally accredited by NCFE. Our PPP programmes can be delivered locally in 7 different countries/regions, or accessed  online in English and Chinese.


Take part in a wide range of Continuous Professional Development opportunities, from our popular POP introduction to PARS short course to special events on different aspects of PARS Playwork Practice.

Meet our PARS Licensed Trainers

PARS Licensed Trainers are experienced trainers who work for themselves or other organisations, but also work together as part of an international team to develop PARS playwork training internationally. 20 trainers currently deliver PARS in 10 different countries/regions and 4 different languages.

Playwork Resources

We publish new and historical playwork literature and other resources to support students, practitioners and academics interested in playwork theory and practice. We also work with other publishers to develop playwork literature.

International Journal of Playwork Practice

International Journal of Playwork Practice is the official journal of PARS Playwork Practice and the only academic journal devoted to playwork. IJPP publishes peer-reviewed articles relevant to the practice of playwork from any discipline and practitioner articles from around the world.

Common Threads Publications

From historical re-prints of adventure playground classics to new publications on contemporary themes, our playwork publications help you to develop your playwork knowledge.

Advances in Playwork Research

The Routledge series Advances in Playwork Research brings together cutting-edge research by those working in the playwork field and studies about playwork from other disciplines.

PARS Community

PARS practitioners and trainers in 14 different countries work together and support each other to develop a wide range of new projects, from creating new adventure playgrounds and delivering innovative training programmes for parents, to influencing local and national policy. Learn more about local PARS programmes in your area and find out how to get involved!

Playwork Research

Common Threads supports a wide range of research projects on playwork theory and practice, particularly empirical and historical research. Our international PARS community is also actively involved in research projects into the effectiveness of PARS playwork practice. We also publish International Journal of Playwork Practice, the official journal of PARS playwork.

New book announcement

Tales from the Playground

Playwork stories from contemporary adventure playgrounds

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Edited by Angus Gorrie

Pre-order from

If you would like to join the mailing list to be the first to know about the publication date for ‘Tales from the Playground’ and to receive a 10% discount on your first order, please leave your details here!

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