Why would you want to let your child play out in the street?

Lovely guest post from a Hackney parent recognising the value of supporting street play. Play England is working with Playing Out, London Play and the University of Bristol on the ‘Street Play’ project. Our vision is for every child to have the freedom to regularly play actively and independently in front of or near their own front door, contributing to a healthy lifestyle. Find out more about the project at http://www.playengland.org.uk/streetplay.

Rethinking Childhood

Boy in streetEven a generation ago, most parents would have greeted this question with blank faces. Playing out was just what kids did – why would you need a reason? Of course, things are different today – for all sorts of reasons. In almost all neighbourhoods, parents need to take a stand, and to resist the norm of parenting that says being a good parent means rearing your child in captivity.

For parents who come together to set up Playing Out road closure projects, taking this stand means extra commitments: talking to neighbours, liaising with the Council, setting up rotas, and maybe spending a couple of hours a week out in the street. So, to rework my opening question: why do parents get involved in organising road closures for play?

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