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Redrow launches Please Play Here campaign as childhood play declines

24th July 2023
Redrow News - Playmaking

Two thirds of parents state their children play outside for less time, than their generation, according to new research from Redrow.

To co-inside with the summer school holidays, the survey of 2,000 parents revealed the decline in outdoor play has raised concerns. Most commonly parents think their child spends too long on social media (36%), and not having enough safe spaces near their property to play (27%). Three quarters (73%) of parents also state roads are too dangerous now to consider allowing them outside to play.

Although lack of access to safe spaces is a key barrier to getting outside, parents recognise the benefits of outdoor play. Over half think it is positive for their child’s physical health (54%), gets them away from screens (53%) and is positive for their mental health (51%). They also believe it helps them to develop social skills (50%), meet more friends (43%) and teach them about nature (41%) and safety (35%).

The lack of outside play could also see the death of some classic childhood games, with parents reporting a decline in their children playing games like British Bulldog, Kerbie, Conkers and Leapfrog as they did growing up.

We’ve today launched a nationwide campaign encouraging the nation to ‘Please Play Here’ and spend more time outdoors this summer. Children’s psychologist and professor at Exeter University, Dr Helen Dodd is working with us as an expert advisor and ‘Head of Playmaking’ to help us create inspiring play friendly communities for their residents.

Helen comments: “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 but we still see declines in this type of play. Two notable barriers to children’s outdoor play that parents recognise are road safety and lack of open spaces; parents want to see more safe spaces for play in their local neighbourhood. Over half of parents reported that they made friends with neighbours after their children had played outdoors together – outlining how key play is, not only for children, but for social connections and bonds within the wider community.”

Kevin Parker, Group Master Planning Director at Redrow, said: “Placemaking and the concept of play has always been a key priority for us at Redrow. We have designated open spaces for play and recreation across our developments, as well as play-on-the-way spaces and multi-functional green corridors including natural play to encourage resident interaction and promote a better way to live.

“We want to go further than minimum requirements, and fully respond to the needs of our customers, which is why we’re working with experts like Dr Helen Dodd and launching this campaign at the start of the summer school holidays.”

With parents keenly aware of the benefits, many are willing to make big lifestyle changes to actively encourage outside play for their children. Over half (55%) have considered taking action including moving to a cul-de-sac to allow them to play in the street (21%), moving house due to grumpy neighbours who complained of outdoor play (15%), moving closer to friends to encourage play (15%) and even watching old films showing outdoor play to encourage their children outside (14%). Looking at homes specifically, having a safe space for children to play is within the top three things that would attract parents to a new home (40%), beaten only by nice neighbours (44%) and green spaces (42%).

We’ve launched a Playmaking report and recommendations in collaboration with Dr Helen Dodd, Author and advocate for children’s outdoor play, Tim Gill, with commentary from Play Wales to highlight the endless benefits outside play has for children. It aims to encourage play in new communities to inspire residents, other developers and local councils to join forces, and the recommendations made will help shape the play spaces across our upcoming developments. This includes the prioritisation of doorstep play, play on the way and natural play spaces, as well as involving local children in the design of new play areas.

In addition, we will be giving out play kits across a number of our developments to encourage play in the local community and inspire many to bring back nostalgic classic games like British Bulldog and Hopscotch. There will also be a number of events at our developments designed to introduce neighbours and children.

To find out more please visit:

Media Contacts
Red Consultancy
Public Relations
Red Consultancy, 41 - 44, Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7NF
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