January 04, 2011

Play streets across the pond

Looking for a cheap, easy way to beautify your street? Just add playing children. (Remember to take away the moving vehicles first.) In our humble opinion, there are few sights more beautiful than children of all ages engaging in healthy, unstructured, communal outdoor play.

We're thrilled to see that "play streets," which we have touted in this blog and in our "Play Matters" report, are becoming a global phenomenon. Across the pond, neighbors in the UK are "playing out" -- that is, organizing regular street play events by following four simple steps:

  1. Talk to neighbors and set a date
  2. Get permission
  3. Tell everybody
  4. Play out!

See their play streets in action and hear what they have to say about the power of outdoor play to bring a neighborhood together, promote community health, and forge ties between children of all ages:

Playing Out from Paul Gilbert on Vimeo.

Inspired? Check out the Playing Out website, which provides tons of resources for organizing your own play street, wherever in the world you happen to be.

You can also start by downloading the step-by-step Playing Out Manual.