It’s Playday!! Get Out and Play!

This year for the 25th Playday Play England, Play Scotland, Playboard NI and Play Wales asked parents across the UK to identify what, if anything, stops their children playing outdoors? Almost half (49%) said fear of strangers, only slightly less (46%) said traffic, and almost one third said fear of accidents and injury.

Mike Greenaway, director of Play Wales, an independent charity funded by the Welsh Assembly, responded to this by saying: “As a society we have developed an irrational fear that our children are unsafe outside.

“Compound this with the domination of cars and their drivers, and the world outside the front door doesn’t look particularly attractive for anyone who wants to play there … and children regularly tell us that outside is where they want to play.

“Children value time, quality places and freedom to play in their own way; we need to support them, recognise that for their wellbeing, they need to play outside and that it’s safer than we think.’

So far this morning, staff from across the four nations have appeared on local and national radio, prompting lively debates on how we, as communities, can take back our own neighbourhoods and let children play out regularly and normally. We are also hearing from many who live in places that still do play out – the 50% of children NOT deterred from playing out because of fear!

There is a lovely piece on BBC online and in the Telegraph, as well as through Press Association. Routledge , the academic publisher, have even done a lovely summary of all academic papers on the theme of Get Out and Play! Do let us know if you spot articles in local news. With no dedicated PR agency this year we rely on all Love Outdoor Play supporters across the UK to tell us how your communities are making use of local media!

Over 500,000 children are out playing today at events across the UK, including at 40 odd National Trust properties (where kids go free on Playday & throughout August!) as well in local parks, town centres, nurseries, youth clubs and playgrounds. To find your nearest one go to: www.playday.org.uk/eventsThis year’s theme is quite simply “Get out and play!”, and we want to hear all about how you are playing, either on here, on Facebook or through Twitter (Hashtag #Playday2012).

Right I’m off to play at Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground with Hilary Emery, Chief Exec of the lovely charity National Children’s Bureau (who host Play England) – Hackney being the birthplace of Playday 25 years ago!

Where are you playing for Playday2012?

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