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Ingrid Skeels

Playing out and summer holidays

posted this in Children's play, health and wellbeing on 21/07/2022

School’s out, summer is here.. and we’re here to remind you that good summer holiday experiences don’t have to cost you money or involve a car. Or even lots of adult intervention and effort. Helping children to play out and have freedom close to home will give them so many important benefits; watch our film to see the joy that playing out brings, including creating happy memories that last a lifetime. Here’s some summer browsing to help you out.

Simple, practical ideas

Have a look at our  Ideas for Pavement Play or browse The Little Book of Playing Out , put together by Bristol parents Jo and Kate.  You could also consider some of our Easy and Effortless Ideas for making your street or estate more friendly and playable. If even all of that seems too much, remind yourself why doing nothing can also be very good for children: In Praise of Boredom…

Children and Freedom

Need reminding why it’s good to give children space and freedom for unstructured play and socialising in the summer?  Read our blogs Schools Out! and Playing Out and Growing Up for a personal take on it all. There are some really important things that children only get to learn when we are not around to organise them. If this feels daunting, you can always create that freedom in a managed and safe way, within parks or other public space. Which brings us on to…

Thinking of organising Playing Out sessions..?

If this has been on your ‘to do’ list for a while, or maybe you’ve just come across the idea now, why not make this the summer where you start to look into it? Just look at all the wonderful things that happen on a play street!  Play streets are the perfect way to give children safe access to public space, socialise with your neighbours and create a kinder, more connected street community. Read or watch our Four Simple Steps to find out how.

Be inspired by other parents and residents around the UK!

To help you even more, here are some inspiring ‘how to’ stories from parents all around the UK who have changed things where they live and who give brilliant insights into the different challenges and rewards. Here’s to Lucy in Peckham, Emma in Hull, Rob in Hertfordshire, Samira, Huma and Ellie in Bristol, Holly in Stockport, Julia in Cambridge, Raquel in Liverpool and Toni in Cardiff.

Elijah from Bristol animates Playing Out!

And if you need any more inspiration, here’s the brilliant short film made by Elijah from Bristol when he was 14, bringing a Playing Out session to life in Lego. We absolutely love it, especially how he moves from Lego to a real live event. A lot of work and creativity went into this – do watch and share it!

If you want any advice or support to get started, we are always here to help. And keen to hear your ideas, thoughts, questions and comments about Playing Out or about any of your experiences around children and freedom. Just get in touch via email or join our lively Facebook group

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