Love Outdoor Play this half-term holiday!

So what are your plans for the long jubilee weekend and school half term break? Are you going to get out and play? How about the children and young people in your house/street/community? Will they get to play out like you did when you were little?

Let me take you back to the last jubilee….

Yes this is me in 1977, I had no idea why there was such a huge street carnival, but oh it was fun!

So will you be going to a street party? Whether its badged Jubilee, Eden’s  The Big Lunch or protest ‘anti-Jubilee’ knees-up, there will be many thousands of streets closed next week. And even if the main purpose isn’t to let children play out, you can bet this means tens of thousands of children more children will be playing out . Notice them. Point them out. How many more friends do you think they are making because a few people decided to get involved and to organise that party? What would your community feel like if those kids could play out like that every Sunday say?

That holiday in 1977 was for me the first when I just went out in the morning and came home for my tea. We played cricket on the corner waste ground, explored the building site at the other side of the estate (don’t read this mum!) and I learnt to ride my neighbour’s chopper.

What did you do in half terms and bank holidays when you were growing up?

For many – though thankfully not all – children and young people a lot has changed in the intervening decades. A couple of weeks ago I got lost around the suburban streets of Enfield….

What’s wrong with this picture taken on a hot Sunday afternoon?

When did our streets get so devoid of life??

Children today still Love Outdoor Play, but their freedom to play is so much less for many different reasons – you’ll know why in your area.

To help make sure that more children can play out more often, I’m calling on you to show that you Love Outdoor Play this half-term & Jubilee holiday!

There are lots of things you can do to get involved listed on our Take Action page, such as:

  • Help spread the Love Outdoor Play message far and wide – share this blog, share the logo, and join in the conversations on Facebook and Twitter at #LoveOutdoorPlay.
  • Contact your local play association and offer your time, skills or a small donation
  • Become a member of Play England – your membership fee & donations will help pay for the campaign & the more members we have the more power for change we have!

You could also write to your MP or local Councillor – or help some children and young people to do so – asking them to sign up to this campaign and show they love outdoor play in their constituency. Why not ask them if they can make it easier to close your street for play?

Lets not wait another 30 years before our kids can get back their freedom to play!

‘Kamina Walton/Playing Out’

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2 Responses to “Love Outdoor Play this half-term holiday!”
  1. plexity says:

    Nicely judged, piece Cath. I love the way you didn’t do random nostalgia, you made it your own personal nostalgia, which made the empty street photo all the more poignant.

    And I applaud the sentiment of – it doesn’t matter if it is badged ‘Big Lunch’ or whatever, just get out there. Well said.

    (Just to mention- I think the list of play assocs on the play associtions page is a brilliant idea, encouraging and signposting any parents who visit and want more. A small suggestion for you – why not have a flashing badge on the bottom left of the masthead saying “want to know what’s happening in your local area- click here!” then a link to that play assoc list and the words ”if your area isn’t listed please contact one of these regional bodies who can advise you, and list the like of SW play partnerships and yorkshire play“ sort of thing.)

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  1. [...] closures over the weekend. For full article on childrens rights to play and independence check our Love Outdoor Play. Get more ideas on stuff to do outdoors in nature with our lovely activity sheet which we will send [...]



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