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Playing out and summer holidays

posted this in Children's play, health and wellbeing on 01/08/2019

It’s a strange summer for everyone, with so many different personal challenges for all of us. But the sun is out (is it still?!), children are not in school… 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. You can do good, important and memorable things close to home – safely – which is where we mainly all are this year. 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? As soon as play streets are possible again (and they are in some areas already) they can be the perfect follow up to some of the good things from this hard time: the community connection, the quieter streets and children’s need to be out and to connect. Read  or watch our Four Simple Steps to find out how, and see our information on play streets during Covid-19

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 who safely got things going on her street after lockdown. And, pre Covid-19, to Emma in Hull, Rob in Hertfordshire, Huma and Ellie in Bristol, Holly in Stockport, Raquel in Liverpool and Toni in Cardiff.

Elijah (14) from Bristol animates Playing Out!

And if you need any more inspiration, here’s the brilliant short film made by Elijah (14) from Bristol, 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!

We’re taking a break over a fair bit of August, but other than that 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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