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Playing Out: Summer Holidays 2019

posted this in Childhood, Free Play, Freedom, Parenting, Playing Out on 01/08/2019

Sun’s out (is it still?!), children are off 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. Here’s some summer browsing to help you out.

Simple, practical ideas

Have a look at our Five 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 things off. Read or watch our Four Simple Steps to find out how. 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 Emma in Hull, Rob in Hertfordshire, Huma and Ellie in Bristol, Holly in Stockport, Raquel in Liverpool and Toni in Cardiff.

Elijah (13) from Bristol animates Playing Out!

And if you need any more inspiration, watch this brilliant short film made by Elijah (13) 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!

Can you help us?

Have you organised a Playing Out session where you live, and has it made any differences to your community? Do people know each other more or feel differently about their street (or not)? Alison Stenning is a Playing Out activator, changing things for children on her street and beyond in North Tyneside. She’s also an academic at the University of Newcastle, looking into how play streets help to reduce loneliness and build community (you can read her current research here). If you’ve got any feedback or stories on this, please do consider doing Alison’s short survey. We hope the results will also help us make the case for play streets with councils, government, housing associations and others!

Plus, whether you’ve organised anything or not, we always want 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. We’re closing briefly over the summer between 3 – 15th August (the challenge of a small team!) but other than that, we’re here to encourage and help. 

Happy holidays everyone!

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