Gardens & wildlife

Round Hill Playsafe Session

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10 good reasons for playing out

  • Children need to play. It is vital for their physical and emotional development and for their social learning.
  • Play England defines play as "what children and young people do when they follow their own ideas and interests, in their own way and for their own reasons". This implies a degree of freedom and independence, which cannot be satisfied by organised or over- supervised play.
  • Children like to play near home and have traditionally done so. A 2007 poll found that 71% of adults played out on their street every day compared to only 21% of children today. (Play England).
  • Children need space to play energetically. Parks are great but children don't always have independent access to these so the street is a convenient place for everyday play.
  • Playing in the street increases a sense of community by bringing neighbours of all ages together. It encourages feelings of belonging and shared responsibility.
  • It enables children to meet and develop friendships outside school and also increases contact between children and adults, helping to build up familiarity and trust.
  • Through dealing with situations that arise independently, children can learn valuable social skills and gain understanding about the world around them.
  • Playing in the street allows for 4 semi-supervised' play. Parents can get on with responsibilities inside the house while allowing children to play outside.
  • The street is the "starting point for all journeys" (Tim Gill, 2007) and the ability to play out in the street is an important step towards greater independence and self-reliance.
  • Streets make up the major part of public space in the city. To limit them to being only places to drive and park cars is to massively undervalue them. Streets can and should be places where people can sit, talk, read, play and walk - and even sing and dance if they want to! The only way this will happen is if we start to use them differently.

Playsafe is a scheme that enables children to play outdoors without traffic.

Playsafe session

This page was last updated by Ted on 10-Apr-2019
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