Journalist Harriet Grant is pursuing her research into the state of children’s play. In her latest article she looks at what we can do to give children more opportunity to play outdoors.
It is easy to get nostalgic when someone mentions playing outside: hazy memories of summers spent kicking a ball in the street, calling for your friend across the road to join you, the illicit thrill of knock-and-run.
But nostalgia may soon be all we have: it’s an incontrovertible fact that British children occupy an ever-shrinking slice of public space, and their time playing out in our streets has been slashed. A 2016 Sustrans study showed that children are playing outside for an average of just over four hours a week – half that of their parents’ generation. And most of this play happens in parks, with adults hovering nearby.
The sight of a child using his or her own street as a playground is increasingly rare, thanks in part to neighbours annoyed at noise, but also because of fears over traffic and knife crime. But not everyone is happy to allow our streets to become game-free zones. We spoke to the adults fighting for children’s right to play.
Read the full article here.