Singapore, a developed city state of four million people is experiencing the pitfalls that come with rapid modernisation and economic progress- elevated disease risk factors among adults and young people. Weekly compulsory physical education classes of 70 minutes in schools and the associated sports activities after classes are inadequate to meet emergent physical activity guidelines of a daily accumulation of at least 90 minutes of physical activity of at least moderate intensity. Daily play sessions that are exclusive of an active daily recess, physical education classes taught by trained specialists and after-school sport sessions, can provide many developmental and holistic health benefits that may carry over into adulthood. A school environment that is play-encouraging, play-enabling and play-inviting can be a useful, innovative and natural way of inculcating a love for movement and help redress a serious trend of physical activity insufficiency while youngsters engage electronic gaming activities. Pilot initiatives for the PRIDE (personal responsibility in daily effort) for PLAY (participation in lifelong activity for youths) programme is a radicalised approach in a number of primary schools in Singapore to infuse daily physical play of between 20 to 45 minutes during curriculum hours. The hope is that PRIDE for PLAY will reap benefits of improved holistic health of youngsters- better physical, social, emotional and mental attributes. While PRIDE for PLAY is no panacea to all of the ills of modernisation, it will go some way in helping the students of tomorrow to be physically healthy, socially more engaged and tolerant of others, mentally more apt to problem-solve and emotionally more proficient to embrace working life in adulthood. Key pointsPhysical play is natural among young people and a daily dose of play can help young people meet daily requirements for accumulated physical activity of at least 90 minutes and at least of a moderate intensity.Play is critical for child development and provides a healthy balance for many sedentary lifestyle activities.Parents, care-givers and teachers should emphasise and partake in daily play with young people.