What can I do?

Home > What can I do? > Big Picture

Big Picture

Play streets and other resident-led actions are having positive impact for children and communities. They also show what children want and need big picture: more time and space to play outside together near home; safe streets and doorstep space; more connected communities where they feel safe and welcome.

Creating these conditions on a more permanent basis could transform children’s lives, health, wellbeing and social development. Local and national government have a big part to play in making this happen but we can all be part of this change. Here are some actions we can take:

Parents, carers and all adults

  • Start a play street as a step towards more long-term change
  • Support children to play out near home whenever and wherever safe (pavement/driveway/greenspace)
  • Ask your local school to give more time, space and opportunity for outside play
  • Lobby your council or housing authority to support children’s right to play
  • Campaign to protect local play facilities and green spaces
  • Join in with local efforts to create safer streets and liveable neighbourhoods

Schools and nurseries

  • Prioritise play and don’t cut break time
  • Make use of nearby green space
  • Open up school grounds for ‘stay and play’ after school
  • Ensure holiday schemes are based around free outdoor play
  • Ensure staff understand the importance of free play
  • Organise a school play street as a step towards permanent school streets

Community organisations

Councils and housing associations

Councils can adopt and promote a supportive play street policy which includes:

  • Ensuring residents can easily and quickly apply for a temporary road closure this summer.
  • Making play streets free and accessible to all – no charges and provide road closure signs/kit.
  • Making turnaround/consultation period as short as possible.
  • Promoting play streets locally to parents and residents to encourage applications.
  • Providing a clear council contact and signposting residents to us for information, support and resources.
  • If you don’t yet have a play street policy, see our info for councils, for everything you need to get started. In the meantime, allow one-off play street sessions using your street party policy.

And:

  • Adopt a pro-play housing policy
  • Take down ‘no ball games’ signs where possible.
  • Defend children’s right to play on estates.
  • Open and maintain parks and playgrounds (and lobby government for funding!).
  • Ensure other public spaces are welcoming for children to play.
  • Communicate the importance of playing out for children.

Government

Government policy on public health, transport, planning, housing, and the environment could support children to play out, leading to happier, healthier children and stronger communities. Read our Playing Out policy manifesto.