The housing development company, Redrow has launched a campaign to encourage children in the UK to play outside this summer.
Working with play experts including Tim Gill, Dr Helen Dodd and Play Wales, the #PleasePlayHere campaign aims to develop inspiring play-friendly communities across the country.
The campaign has been launched in line with the publication of a research report by Redrow, From Placemaking to Playmaking: Encouraging Community Play across the UK. The report highlights the results of a survey of 2,000 parents and reveals a decline in children’s outdoor play, compared to their parents’ generation. It also shows that 73% of UK parents feel that roads are too dangerous now to consider sending children outside to play.
Although lack of access to safe spaces is a key barrier to getting outside, the report reveals that parents in Wales recognise the benefits of outdoor play. Over half think it is positive for their child’s physical health (55%), gets them away from screens (61%) and is positive for their mental health (64%). They also believe it helps them to develop social skills (56%), meet more friends (49%) and teach them about nature (46%) and safety (38%).
The Please Play Here campaign is being led by children’s psychologist and professor at Exeter University, Professor Helen Dodd, who is working with Redrow as an expert advisor and ‘Head of Playmaking’.
Professor Dodd said:
‘The research shows that fewer children are playing outdoors than in their parent’s generation, with a particularly notable decline in street play. Parents recognise that outdoor play is important for children’s physical health, mental health and social skills… (and) want to see more safe spaces for play in their local neighbourhood.’
Play Wales’ Assistant Director, Marianne Mannello said:
‘Children of all ages consistently say that playing and meeting up with their friends is important to them. The outdoors continues to be their favourite place to play.
‘Play Wales calls for better use of public places – so that children and teenagers can explore and play in their neighbourhoods. Developers and housebuilders have a vital role to play in creating access to places where children can play and meet up with their friends.’
As part of the campaign, Redrow has launched resources to support children’s outdoor play activities, with additional materials and events to follow throughout the summer.