Playing out means healthier, happier children who know other children and neighbours where they live. Children who know ‘their patch’ and feel a sense of belonging.
It means more free play outside where children can explore, test and challenge, connect with others and use their imaginations IN REAL LIFE instead of on screens. It’s hard for us all to limit screen time when there aren’t good alternatives for children.
Do you want to make playing out happen where you live in 2019?
If so, we can support you. Just get in touch or join our active Facebook group community. You won’t be acting alone! So far, over 800 groups of neighbours around the UK have worked together to regularly close their streets to traffic and open them up for play, with over 24,000 children benefitting and 12,000 adults taking action. Over 50 forward thinking local authorities have now put policies in place to support their residents to do this. We can help your local authority too.
Children need changes in Government policy
Playing Out sessions are a great first step for anyone wanting more playing out and freedom for children, so we need clear Government guidelines and support for all local authorities to enable parents and residents to do this easily, wherever they live.
But Playing Out sessions are not an end solution! Children’s health and well-being are under serious threat; many people – including all of us – are taking action in different ways; and even the Children’s Commissioner for England is now calling for change. We feel the moment is right to ask the Government for bigger changes to policy – in transport, public health, planning/design and more – to support children’s belonging in public space.
Parents need to feel safe once again to let their children play out and walk to school independently in the places where they live, everyday if they want to, so they can reap all the important benefits of this. Children want this change too! Watch what Room 13 children have to say here.
We’ll keep telling you what we’re thinking about this and listening to you too, so we can seize the moment when it comes.
Here’s to 2019 everyone!