When street play went primetime

Here is the item on street play that was broadcast on The One Show last Monday (24 June 2013). It focuses on the road closure session in Worthing that I described in my post from a couple of weeks ago (and yes, I do pop up a couple of times, flying the flag for outdoor play).

In fact The One Show devoted another 2 or 3 minutes to the topic on top of this clip, with some lively exchanges and a big thumbs-up back in the studio. TV celebrity Alan Titchmarsh in particular was strident in his calls for children to be allowed the kind of everyday freedoms that previous generations had enjoyed.

Screengrab from The One Show

The piece is further evidence that street play is now moving into the mainstream. The next few years are going to be exciting times, as I realised when I was invited to the Playing Out Shop last Friday for a chat about how playing in the street can once more become a normal and accepted part of everyday life in residential areas. It’s a question that I am sure to return to here.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the Playing Out movement (and I think we can now call it a movement) needs to head over to its website. It also has a very lively group on Facebook (which you need to ask to join).

7 responses to “When street play went primetime

  1. I was struck by the comment that we feel we need to have a reason in order to speak to our neighbours. In the UK I am aware that one thing that ISN’T taken for granted is that we should talk simply because it’s good for human beings to know one another.

    It reminded me of this quote from a book entitled Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour (Kate Fox).

    “The English have clubs for everything: fishing, cards, flower arranging… We prefer to socialise in an organised, ordered manner, at specific time and places or our choosing… We need to pretend that the activity is the real point of the gathering and that social bonding is just a secondary side-effect.”

    One thing I that I love about Playing Out is that it gives adults a means to use ‘getting kids away from their screens’ as the ‘real point’ of the gathering, but there’s lots of important social bonding going on there too.

  2. Good stuff, and if you can bear to buy the Murdoch press, there’s a photo of Hackney Playing Out in the Times today!

  3. Thanks for the comments (and for the tip-off, Nicola). Sarah – nice point about English attitudes to socialising, which touches on Kevin Harris’s comments about ‘enforced sociability’ (quoted in my previous post on street play). I wonder if one hidden strength of the Playing Out model (here in England at least) is that it gives permission for a modest amount of casual social interaction with neighbours – without the rigmarole of say a street party, yet also avoiding the kind of ‘open front door’ position that in truth many people would be uncomfortable with?

  4. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!! What else needs saying? (And to say so little – coming from me – is a huge rarity!!!) Bravo to all.

  5. Pingback: Street play: can you have too much of it? | Rethinking Childhood

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