What does a playful community look like?

  • Is it full of things for children and teenagers to do – for example, play schemes, youth groups, play and soft play areas, and after-school clubs?
  • Is it a place where children and their parents feel it’s safe to spend time outside – meeting friends, exploring, riding bikes, climbing trees, building dens?

A playful community can be a mixture of both. It’s a place where children and teenagers feel they belong - where they have things to do, and can play outside and hang out safely with their friends.

How can parents and other adults make sure their community is playful?

A playful community isn’t just about opening the door and letting your children go out. There are lots of positive things adults can do to make their neighbourhood more playful. Here are a few things playful communities have in common:

  • Parents, grandparents and other adults know each other, so they feel it’s safe to let their children play out.
  • Adults don’t mind children and teenagers being out in the community.
  • Adults know play is very important for children’s health, development and happiness.
  • Adults accept that children and teenagers playing out in their community may sound noisy and look untidy.
  • Children and teenagers have ways of letting their parents know where they are and when they will be home.
  • Children and teenagers know how to cross roads and get around their neighbourhood safely.
  • Children and teenagers have places to meet up close to their homes.
  • Children and adults can walk and cycle around the neighbourhood, because traffic is controlled.
  • Children and teenagers have things to do that are staffed by adults without being too structured – like a play scheme or youth group

Take a look at our Tips for supporting children to play out confidently.