A UK-wide opinion poll was conducted to support and inform the Playday 2013 Playful Places campaign. Results reveal that unwelcoming communities are stopping children playing out as much as they would like in the streets and areas where they live.
Views from the 3,000 children, parents and adults surveyed as part of this opinion poll show a positive attitude towards children’s play outside. In addition to children and young people wanting to play outside, many adults also recognise the wider benefits to community and family life, such as creating a sense of community spirit and allowing families to get to know each other.
However, the findings highlight how children’s freedom to play outside is substantially reduced compared to that experienced by previous generations.
The adults surveyed believe that children are experiencing a childhood vastly different to their own, with less time, space and freedom to explore their local area. Reflecting this, the majority of children aged 5-11 would like to be able to play out more than they currently do, and whilst 12-16 year olds are happier with their freedom to spend time with friends outside, a significant minority of this age group would also like more opportunity to do so.
Key barriers to children playing out more, mentioned by both children and adults surveyed, include concerns for children’s safety; especially relating to danger from traffic, but also fears about potential harm from strangers. Reflecting this, children tell us that the changes they need to enable them to play more include: less danger from traffic and less parked cars; having more time to play; having more of their friends living near them; having more areas to play; parents and carers giving them more permission to do so, and having more adult supervision available.
The opinion poll was conducted by One Poll in July 2013, with 1,000 children between 5 and 16 years old, 1,000 parents of children between 5 and 16 years old and 1,000 adults, all sampled throughout the UK.
Download the playday-2013-opinion-poll-summary [32KB DOC]