A checklist for parent's to use to assess their neighbourhood. Parents are constantly blamed for their "cotton wool kids" but it's the modern environment that stops children playing out, running errands and going to nearby friends.
A study demonstrating how children's transport (walking/cycling) has been misunderstood and ignored with damaging consequences for children's play. Recommendations are made to rectify this.
This paper was given to the International Play Association conference in Cardiff in July 2011. It explains why children’s play strategies should be based on the outcome of “can children play out?” rather than the output “how many play facilities are there?”.
Click here to view the paper (PDF file - opens in new window)
A briefer article on the same theme appeared in Local Government News, October 2011. Click here to view this article (external link)
(with Dr Alison Millward) (1997) (reprint 98) pub. CIH & JRF
Observational and consultation research at 12 different housing estates. It explores where children play out and where they do not and how important their transport (mostly walking) is to their opportunities for play. It gives recommendations for the design of housing estates.
How we can give back to children the space to play they had for generations.
Under 5's should be able to play out in front of their own house.
Report of research of children’s views carried out in 1982 but still very relevant. Was enthusiastically reviewed in IPA journal by Robin Moore at the time.
Explains how to save money by using grass and how to test for suitability. It also counters misleading advice given by influential persons who do not understand the limitations of grass.
This advisory document is based on research into accidents which have happened on slides where the clothing material worn by the children was a major contributing factor to the accidents. It makes recommendations for changes in the Standard for playground equipment.
Children’s play opportunities are being limited because of fears based on myths rather than facts. Rob Wheway, one of the country’s leading play consultants, explodes some of these myths.
(2009), pub. London Play.
This was written in conjunction with George Richardson and Alan Sutton. It is a practical guide for people using fallen trees on “natural” playgrounds.
These can be used in children’s playgrounds.
Are not always necessary. Money can be saved.
Some local authorities are unnecessarily having two annual inspections.
Adventure Playgrounds and Standards (Keeping the Adventure)
Gives advice on using guidance and Standards to reduce the risk without reducing the adventure and also as a way of challenging restrictive advice given by those without an understanding of adventure playgrounds.
Fires are permitted in supervised play such as adventure playgrounds.
Advice to schools who are planning to install playground equipment or who are having “Health and Safety” problems with their existing playground.
Play, Society, Inclusion
Political Parties promise to spend money on services and facilities. They ignore the massive improvements which could be made for free. Ideas that a new government and contenders for leadership of 2 other main parties should be considering
A critique of current approaches and advocating an environment for play which will help to create an environment for the “Big Society”. An edited version of this article appeared on the Guardian Public Leaders and Voluntary Sector Network sites.
Click here to view the publication (PDF file)
Click here to view the article (External link - Guardian)
Explains why those involved with the Olympics don’t understand how children play out and how ordinary people get regular exercise. The result is that there is no legacy of increased fitness within the population as a whole.
(with Alison John) (2004), pub. NPFA.
This is based on observations of children using playgrounds and interviews with children and parents. It gives common-sense recommendations for reasonable improvements to playgrounds. It found that social barriers are bigger than generally realised and makes recommendations to overcome them.
(2008), pub. Fair Play for Children.
This is based on decades of involvement in health and safety issues concerned with children’s play. It finds that we are not living in a risk averse society but that many of the problems of health and safety can be resolved with different management approaches.
Young people hanging out in public spaces are seen as a threat. Mediation is suggested as an alternative.
Obesity is not a disease it is caused by a poor environment in which children cannot play out.