For most children, there fewer chances to use the streets and outdoor areas for playing near their homes. Parents tell us they are worried about:

  • more vehicles on the roads
  • speed of traffic

which means that they stop their children playing out in their community.

The Playing Out model

A playing out event is a street play session organised by neighbours and it’s only publicised within nearby streets. For a few of hours at a time, a residential street is closed to traffic so it’s safe for children to play and for parents to socialise with neighbours. There are volunteer stewards at each road closure point to redirect traffic and reassure parents about concerns they may have about safety.

Playing out sessions support free and unplanned play – there aren’t any organised activities. Parents and children bring out their own toys such as skipping ropes, bikes and scooters.

During a playing out session you are responsible for your own child. Your child is given the space and permission to play in the street, whilst you have the chance to meet and get to know your neighbours better and experience a car-free street.

Street play resources

Playing Out is a movement led by parents and residents who work to promote street play across the UK.

 We have worked with Playing Out to put together materials to support you to organise play sessions on your street.If you want to start ‘playing out’ sessions on your street, this manual, which has information about what you need to do and who to involve, can help.

Download How to organise playing out sessions on your street

Supporting resources: 

10 good reasons for street play

Playing Out leaflet

Street play steward lanyards

Street play steward briefing

Street play car notice template

Street play confirmation flyer template

Street play closure dates letter template

Street play neighbours meeting template

Street play risk assessment template