Playing out in Cardiff to celebrate Playday
Play Wales is working with local residents in Cardiff to make streets and communities play friendlier places for children and young people.
Using the Playing Out model – street play sessions led by neighbours for neighbours – residents in Ely and Whitchurch will close their streets to traffic for part of the afternoon on Wednesday 2 August to celebrate Playday by activating street play.
Children will come together to play on the street along with their families – they will bring their scooters, footballs, chalk, skipping ropes ... and cups of tea.
Playing is central to children’s physical and emotional health and wellbeing. For children themselves, playing is one of the most important aspects of their lives; however, through consultations undertaken across Wales, they report that they encounter many barriers. Most notably:
- parked cars and traffic intensity and speed
- fear of strangers
- unwelcoming attitudes and environments
Playday is the national day for play in the UK with thousands of children and their families going out to play at locally organised events across Wales and the rest of the UK.
Local resident and mother of two, Toni Morgan, said:
‘I wanted to kick start the project in my street as I was aware of the many families living in the street, however had never actually encountered any children at any time playing outside in the three years of living here. I wanted my own children to have more of an 'organic' child led play experience growing up and all the benefits it brings ... this was the closest, safest option, without it being too contrived and ruined by adults! Plus the words 'play date' gives me the shivers! I am also extremely nosey and like to know who I'm living around and like the idea of closeness within a community.’
Marianne Mannello, Play Wales’ Assistant Director said:
‘Play Wales supports initiatives that reclaim streets and neighbourhoods for children and young people to be able to range and play. Giving children permission to play out close to their home and those of their friends helps them gain an understanding of the world they live in, as they learn to deal with situations outside the home, without being too far away from adults. This is an important step to gaining self-reliance and greater independence for going to the park, the local shop or walking to school, or other local places on their own. We believe that playing out is good for children and their wider communities.’