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The Impact of Playing Out or Play Streets

Play streets benefit children, adults, streets and wider communities. Here’s how they’re making a difference.

A growing national movement

Since Playing Out began supporting residents to organise street play where they live:

  • Over 1,000 street communities have ‘played out’ in 100+ different local authority areas across the UK
  • Most of these streets are having at least 12 sessions a year
  • Around 33,900 children and 16,900 adults have been directly involved on their street
  • 81 councils are now actively supporting the playing out model and many have specific street play policies in place

This is just what we’ve managed to record. We’re also hearing that much more informal playing out is happening in streets and spaces across the UK because parents, residents and professionals are starting to think differently. Here’s the deeper impact taking place each time residents open their front doors to meet, play and use the immediate space in a shared way:

Improving children’s health and wellbeing

80% of UK children don’t get the basic minimum recommended level of physical activity to be well. Playing out gives children space and freedom to get much needed exercise outdoors, play freely, gain independence and skills, and make new friends close to home. Read more information and evidence here

Building stronger communities and a sense of belonging

Children and parents are often isolated in their homes. The process of opening a street for play increases connections, friendship and trust between neighbours of all ages and backgrounds, and develops a stronger sense of ‘our street’. Read more information and evidence here

Encouraging more active citizens

Organising playing out or play streets, volunteering as a steward and changing the use of the street is a form of community action. It demonstrates citizenship in action to children growing up on the street. Often residents feel inspired to do more within their neighbourhood. Read more information and evidence here…

Changing culture around children’s freedom

All this activity, along with smaller important actions like spreading the word and showing support, as well as increasing work around children’s rights, is part of a  wider, growing national and international movement for children’s freedom. Together we are all beginning to change things. Can you join us?

What can I do?

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