Adrift in the city without a map

21 April, 2017
Categories: Blog

For the child living with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), the urban landscape can be an alienating, frightening environment. Keith McAllister and Neil Galway of Queen’s University, Belfast, argue that planners and architects must rise to the challenge of including children with ASD within the modern child friendly city.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong, complex developmental disorder characterised by a triad of qualitative impairments (Wing & Gould, 1979): in social communication; in social interaction; and in social imagination. The range of the spectrum is such that while some may be able to live relatively independently, others will require lifelong continuous support.

Worldwide the numbers of those living with the condition varies between 1 in 300 to 1 in 100. The UK’s National Autistic Society estimates that around 1 per cent of the population has ASD, although this figure seems to be increasing.  Full blog


Creating is not just a ‘nice’ activity; it transforms, connects and empowers

13 April, 2017
Categories: Blog

As a child, when I wasn’t eating, sleeping or at school, I was making.
My memories of childhood relate to stuff – smell, material and texture: digging up the garden to make heavy, grogged clay; melting wax crayons to make 3D shapes; building matchstick houses; casting plaster in Disney latex moulds; and cutting out. Always cutting, shaping and sticking.  Full blog


Introducing real tools in the early years

12 April, 2017
Categories: Blog

As with anything in the early years, first-hand real play experiences have so much more to offer than just watching others use it or reading about it. Many early years practitioners are highly critical of using real tools in the early years and believe it to be dangerous and their group of children to be too irresponsible however many have found great success and fewer dangerous incidents from using real tools.  Full blog


Jane Bradley: Childhood is no longer a picnic

30 March, 2017
Categories: Blog

Over-protective parenting has denied the next generation the happy adventures of roaming free, says Jane Bradley Our house is currently filled with talk of ginger beer picnics, secret societies and cries of “it’s all very peculiar!” My four-year-old daughter has discovered Enid Blyton. She clamours every night for the next instalment of whatever Secret Seven or Five Find Outers tome we are reading.  Full blog here


Let Kids Be Kids: Using Adventure and Nature to Bring Back Children’s Play

21 March, 2017
Categories: Blog

It is a disappointing thing to see new playgrounds developed in city spaces sit there empty each day, or to walk in the park and hear no laughter. What is missing here is not the children per se, but materials and environments that create challenge, imagination, and creativity that make children want to play outdoors. The absence of such play environments is not only influencing the quantity and quality of children’s play, but also affecting children’s health and well-being. As adults, we need to support children in learning to enjoy what free play in the outdoors has to offer. We need to inspire imaginations, creative minds, and capable bodies. To do this, we can look toward two simple things: nature and adventure.

Full blog


Designing streets for play – research and observation

17 March, 2017
Categories: Blog

Many within the UK’s street play movement want to see long-term changes to the design of residential streets, but know they need to marshall the evidence to support their case. Professional architect and Playing Out activist, Helen Forman is well qualified to do just that. In this blog from the Playing Out website, she talks about her new literature review of this area, Residential Street Design and Play, and what inspired her to undertake it.   Full blog


Scottish Parliament debates national play charter

17 March, 2017
Categories: Blog

The Scottish Parliament has debated the country’s first Play Charter, developed and promoted by Play Scotland, the national play charity. Adrian Voce reports.

A motion to support Scotland’s first Play Charter, developed by Play Scotland, was debated in the Scottish Parliament on 14 March 2017. It was proposed by Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), Ruth Maguire of the Scottish National Party (SNP).  Full blog here