Street Play – what do kids say?

Last week for Playday we reported that for many children “Intolerant attitudes and a lack of dedicated community spaces are preventing children from playing out where they live“.

40% of adults surveyed said that children playing out where they live improves community spirit, and almost half (45%) saying it helps families to get to know each other. All it takes is one or two families to take the first step; with 60% of parents saying they would feel confident to let their kids play out if others were playing too. [source: Playday 2013 poll]

CBBC Newsround then asked children across the UK what they thought, and these are some examples of what they said: Newsround Playday

I play outside but I live in a close so it’s much safer. Sometimes my parents let me go on the road, but it depends how busy the roads are if you are allowed to play outside or not.

Alice, Isle of Wight, England

I’m not allowed to play outside. My parents are worried about the cars because we live in a really busy street.

Erin, Glasgow, Scotland

I am only allowed to play in my garden or go to the park with my parents. I wish I could play outside on the street with friends.

Jessie, London, England

I love to play cricket and football but my parents fear that if I play in my street, a car could get damaged and they won’t be happy paying for it. This is why I am only allowed in my back garden.

Nafees, West Yorkshire, England

I would like to spend more time outside but because of the more elderly neighbours, it is more restricted. There are also no places that are safe to play in our town. You have to travel a long way to find a safe place.

Katie, Worcestershire, England

I play football outside in my back garden, but one day my neighbour came to my house and told me off because she said I was waking up her kids! I still play outside at a later time, but I still feel uncomfortable and uneasy.

Zainab, West Yorkshire, England

I wish I could play outside more but my parents stop me saying traffic and cars are dangerous.

Sarah, Luton, England

So for the next week or two here on Love Outdoor Play we are going to concentrate on street play and how it is bringing communities together. We’ll share some stories from people that close their streets regularly, from some that like playing in their car park or other nearby spaces and some that get to play out in the street all the time.

If you’ve a story to tell, a photo to share or want to tell us about street play near you then do get in touch here, on Twitter or Facebook.

How do communities – and those responsible for developing them – make sure that spaces near where kids grow up can achieve this Playday’s aim and be playful places all year round?


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