Marvellous marshals, stupendous stewards

Play Street Pointers

Rainy day play

Do we need insurance?

Loose parts play

A resident’s guide to play streets

 

One day, residential streets will be places where people expect to find children playing and drive accordingly. But until then, the most important job on a play street – apart from making sure the tea doesn’t run out of course – is that of marshal, or steward.

To keep everyone safe, volunteers must be stationed at the road closure points for the duration of your play street sessions.  Most of the time this job will involve drinking tea and watching the action, perhaps catching up on a bit of neighbourhood news. But as some – but not all – cars are allowed to access the street during the session, as gatekeepers of the street, stewards do need a bit of skill and understanding under their belt. Look no further than our handy fact sheet, downloadable below!

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to don a hi vis vest and blow a whistle? Ideally, you will have a small pool of adults (and sometimes older teenagers) who are willing to take turns as stewards on your regular play street sessions.

Our info sheet covers all scenarios that stewards can encounter, offers helpful tips and strategies for dealing with the occasional difficult situation.

Marvellous marshals
Covid
To help residents minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19 on a play street as much as possible, London Play has compiled this risk-benefit guidance and template, based on those used in professional play settings.

Free tips and resources

RESOURCES FOR ORGANISERS
 

Dip into our Play Street Pointers for tips and ideas for starting, running and keeping your play street going.

PSP1: Low cost – high value play

Forget the bouncy castles or giant jenga. If you really want to provide ‘stuff’, just fling a few boxes and old curtains on the street and watch what happens!

PSP01 Low cost high value play jpg
PLAY STREET POINTERS: Low cost - high value play

PSP2: Making play streets for everyone

Play streets are not just for children – arguably, adults get as much or even more out of them whether they are living with children or not.

PSP02 Making Play Streets for Everyone
PLAY STREET POINTERS: Making play streets for everyone

PSP3: Dealing with common challenges

Believe it or not, some of your neighbours may not immediately be overjoyed when you ask them what they think about starting a play street on your road. They have questions! Here are some common concerns people might raise with you and some answers you can give.

PSP03 Dealing with Common Challenges
PSP3: Dealing with common challenges
Covid
To help residents minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19 on a play street as much as possible, London Play has compiled this risk-benefit guidance and template, based on those used in professional play settings.
Consult
Once you and your neighbours have decided on dates and times for your play street, you will need to formally let everyone on the street know and give them the opportunity to share their views. Download and adapt this template letter.
Information
Most councils don’t insist on public liability insurance for play streets; but you will find many ‘strongly recommend’ it. So, what should you do?

PSP4: Consulting your neighbours

Most councils ask that you have the support of your neighbours before they will agree to your play street. So you will need to do some consultation. Check out our pointers.

PSP04 Consulting your neighbours
PSP4: Consulting your neighbours

PSP5: Keeping it going

Until play streets become commonplace, they need committed adults to keep them going. That can be a challenge – but is not impossible.

PSP05 Keeping it Going
PSP5: Keeping it going

PSP6: Rainy day play

There’s no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing. Get out there and make a splash!

PSP06 Rainy day play
PSP6: Rainy day play

PSP7: Recruiting and retaining volunteers

The input of volunteers is vital to the ongoing success of a play street. So what needs to happen to keep them interested and involved.

PSP07 Recruiting & retaining volunteers
PSP7: Recruiting and retaining volunteers

How does it work in your borough?

London is as diverse as it is wonderful and so it follows that the process for starting a play street varies a bit between boroughs. Click through to our interactive map and find out how it works where you live.
PLAY STREETS BY BOROUGH
 

“There is no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothing.” So say our Scandinavian cousins, and they are no strangers to bad weather. So what are you waiting for, get outside and enjoy the additional excitement that playing in the rain brings!

Lets face it, rain is part of life on our little green island. It happens, and it happens often. So why let it dampen the fun? As long as children are wearing proper wet weather gear, rain can actually add to the opportunities for creative play.
On rainy days it can help to have a few activities and props up your sleeve. Download our Rainy Day Play info sheet below for some ideas to get children out playing – even in a deluge.

INFO: Rainy day play
INFO: Rainy day play
Covid
To help residents minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19 on a play street as much as possible, London Play has compiled this risk-benefit guidance and template, based on those used in professional play settings.
Information
Never mind bouncy castles or giant jenga. If you must provide 'stuff', a few cardboard boxes and some old curtain material will go a long way on a play street.

Free tips and resources

RESOURCES FOR ORGANISERS
 

Most councils don’t insist on public liability insurance for play streets; but you will find many ‘strongly recommend’ it. So, what should you do?

Public liability insurance in theory covers event organisers for injury or property damage to members of the public.  This could be residents, children, the local authority, motorists or passers by. Our view is that insurance should not usually be necessary for a play street and that the requirement to purchase insurance can put people off starting one. But ultimately the decision must be one that you and your neighbours are comfortable with.

We can offer some thoughts on the issue which might help you decide. Download our info sheet below.

INFO: Do we need insurance?
Covid
To help residents minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19 on a play street as much as possible, London Play has compiled this risk-benefit guidance and template, based on those used in professional play settings.

How does it work in your borough?

London is as diverse as it is wonderful and so it follows that the process for starting a play street varies a bit between boroughs. Click through to our interactive map and find out how it works where you live.
PLAY STREETS BY BOROUGH

 

 

 

 

Forget bouncy castles or giant jenga! You don’t need lots of ‘stuff’ to run a successful play street. If you do decide to provide something, consider low cost, open ended, junk materials that get kids’ creative, imaginative and cooperative juices flowing.

Unlike many manufactured games, there is no single way to play with loose parts such as cardboard tubes, boxes, pieces of fabric, plastic crates, old tyres or plastic bottles. They can be used to build things, create costumes, invent games and then destroy and recreate all over again. Download our info sheets on Loose Parts Play and Low Cost High Value Play below for inspiration.

INFO: Low cost high value play
INFO: Loose parts play
Information
Check out our Play Street Pointers for tips and ideas for making your play street awesome!

How does it work in your borough?

London is as diverse as it is wonderful and so it follows that the process for starting a play street varies a bit between boroughs. Click through to our interactive map and find out how it works where you live.
PLAY STREETS BY BOROUGH
 

Here’s a great place to start for an overview of why you should start a play street and what’s involved in doing it.  The exact process varies from borough to borough.

We have printed copies of this guide available on request.

Email us to request print copies

RESIDENTS GUIDE TO PLAY STREETS
RESIDENTS GUIDE TO PLAY STREETS
Covid
To help residents minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19 on a play street as much as possible, London Play has compiled this risk-benefit guidance and template, based on those used in professional play settings.

Free tips and resources

RESOURCES FOR ORGANISERS