Play Street Carousel

Taking Nature to the Streets (2011-13)

Play streets

Car Free Day

Play Streets Past and Present (2014)

Play Quarter pilot (2017)

The Play Street Carousel is a unique project that uses the power of play to strengthen bonds between neighbours, even as the pandemic keeps us all apart.

A suitcase full of art materials and audio-visual equipment will be passed between households on a street, on the ‘Play Street Carousel’. Covid-safe protocols will be in place.

Each household will use the materials to document a street game of their choosing. We hope to see games collected from across generations, cultures and household types. The submissions will be collected by London Play and collated into a ‘recipe book of street play’ and a film of the project will also be made. These will provide a wonderful legacy of a strange time in history; and the book of games will become a valuable idea trove for future play streets.

When the day arrives that we are able to gather and play on the street again, we hope to run events on each of the participating eight streets to celebrate. Residents will have the chance to play their games together and watch the film featuring their contributions.

With two participating streets in each of four boroughs: Croydon, Haringey, Kingston and Redbridge; we hope that the eight Play Street Carousel street parties will go down in history. We are already looking forward to it!

The project will run from January – July 2021; after which time we hope to resume our usual Playful Communities project with an explosion of play on the street following months of limited lives.

For more information on this project contact catherine@londonplay.org.uk

Current work
Would you like your street to come alive with play? The good news is that in many parts of London, starting a play street is fairly easy.
London Play Press Releases
From Monday 14 September, it will be illegal in England, unless at school or work, for someone to meet more than five other people at a time. What does this mean for play streets?
London Play Press Releases
London Play is calling on local authorities to restart play streets from July 4th.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP

Funder: Social Action Fund

In Deptford, children were begging their parents to go to school – on a Saturday! But who could blame them, when the school in question is abandoned and features a hidden, wild nature garden? Where they can help build a treehouse, cook over an open fire or wade in a pond? This was just one of many magical opportunities opened up for children through this project, where we helped volunteers across London reactivate their communities through play in all its forms.

Dora explorers
The home front is a rich aspect of understanding World War One heritage. This resource is designed to support teaching and learning about the home front across the KS2 curriculum from History to Art, Drama and Literacy, offering opportunities to inspire pupils across subject areas.

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Dora explorers
Children performed theatrical sketches to show audiences what they have learned about World War One and its impact on children's lives at that time. The performances covered everything from the Girl Guides' role in the war and young boys working in factories, to children’s parks being taken over by the military.

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Dora explorers
Today it is cars and digital devices getting in the way of children's play. But in 1914 it was DORA (aka the Defence of the Realm Act), which prevented playful activites including kite flying, whistling and feeding the birds...

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Dora explorers
Children in White City and Bethnal Green have embarked on an exciting exploration together to travel 100 years into the past to experience life during World War One. We have become…. DORA Explorers! (No, not the small Spanish kind... Explorers of World War One and the Defence of the Realm Act, aka DORA.)

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Access to nature
London Play's Access to Nature projects are well underway in four sites across London. Part funded by Natural England under its Access to Nature scheme, which is part of the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme, the project aims to encourage children and families into the natural environment and to rediscover the joy of being

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Evacuee play trove
19 OCTOBER: Well yesterday was the project finale and what an event it was! Deep beneath the corridors of power in Churchill's wartime nerve centre, the Cabinet War Rooms provided a suitably atmospheric setting for the premiere of the film and celebration event to mark the end of the project.

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Access to nature
September 2012: Play features provided by London Play as part of its Access to Nature project were given a thorough testing during the public event launching the £5m transformation of Haringey's Lordship Recreation Ground. Around 8,000 residents attended a community festival held on Saturday 22 September to mark the park's rebirth - and the refurbished

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Taking nature to the streets
July 2012: Another partnership during the same period was established with the Friends of Fortune Street Park in Islington where we supported the delivering of outdoor play opportunities in their local open space. The aim was utilise the natural elements of the open space, and through the use of low cost, simple everyday objects we

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Evacuee play trove
17 July: It's been confirmed that the end of project event will be on Friday 18 October at the Churchill War Rooms! What a fitting venue - Churchill’s wartime bunker is a fascinating piece of living history; an underground maze of rooms that once buzzed with round-the-clock planning and plotting, strategies and secrets.

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Evacuee play trove
25 June: Children in Tower Hamlets and across London have put aside their computer games and discovered first-hand the simple fun that their grandparents made for themselves, in a ground breaking project which has bridged the generational divide.

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Evacuee play trove
First month and launch of London Play’s Evacuee Play Trove project! Tomorrow I’m meeting with our partners, Museum of London and the Half Moon theatre. I’m very excited about the prospect of interviewing 30 former evacuees. Listening to their fascinating stories bring to life their experiences during the evacuation and their war time play experience.

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Evacuee play trove
The ‘Evacuee Play Trove’ is the online home of an impressive archive of memories, games and pictures gathered and produced during the course of the project.

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Taking nature to the streets
Summer 2012: we started to work together with Mudchute City Farm based in Tower Hamlets to support both volunteering and play on their vast outdoor site. During their large inter-generational community event themed around traditional street play and the 1940’s we delivered a variety of activities using loose objects from our Play in a Box

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Evacuee play trove
10 June: I have just come back from a full on day of filming the evacuees, I learnt so much. There so many people to coordinate in the crew. I’m looking forward to filming at St John’s Primary on Friday. Teresa the teacher said the children can’t wait to be on TV. Well we will

ABOUT US

Evacuee play trove
Children in Tower Hamlets and across London put aside their computer games last week and discovered first-hand the simple fun that their grandparents made for themselves, in a ground breaking project which has bridged the generational divide.

ABOUT US

Access to nature
Spring 2012: A two year project which aims to encourage more children and families to reconnect with the outdoors through play is outgrowing its original brief. The sight of major new nature playgrounds emerging in four parks across north and east London as part of London Play's Access to Nature project has inspired several community

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Taking nature to the streets
Spring 2012: London Play and Haringey Play Association launched the first ‘Mudpies etc.' pop up play shop on Tottenham High Road on Monday 20 August, offering local children and families a welcoming space to drop in, relax, play and let their imaginations loose in a creative environment. The sessions are free and offer all types

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Evacuee play trove
21 March: We are half way through interviewing 30 former evacuees. I feel privileged and humbled to listen to their stories. I’m looking forward to the reaction from children at the schools we are working with, when they hear how happy the evacuees were, playing with so little.

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Access to nature
February 2012: Following on from last summer's community engagement day at Beam Washlands where London Play introduced plans for a natural playscape to the local community, the first equipment has now been installed and is now well established as part of the landscape.

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Access to nature
February 2012: Landscaping work has started on the Broadwater Green site in Thamesmead. Trees for Cities and London Play are working in partnership to create a new play-scape and plant new trees and plants in the park.

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Taking nature to the streets
Winter 2012: Once again the nature garden on the site of the old Tidemill primary school is full of the sounds of children playing, excitedly rediscovering secret paths and hidden dens. In partnership with local community group Assembly SE8 the latest Mud Pies etc. initiative in Lewisham has really gained momentum, becoming an inspirational environment

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Access to nature
JULY 2011: London Play and the Barking and Dagenham community rangers ran a community engagement day in the park on Saturday 9 July, which was a roaring success! Of course, no community event is complete without face painting and a bouncy castle, which both went down very well on the day.

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FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP

Play streets happen when neighbours agree to regularly open their street (for play and community) and close it (to through traffic). Simple… but magic; just watch this film:

Would you like your street to come alive with play?

The good news is that now in most London boroughs, starting a play street is fairly easy. Councils have a simple application process; and their growing popularity means your neighbours are likely to be supportive.

We can help! London Play has been putting play back on the capital’s streets since 2008.  We have worked in nearly every borough in London and even have a separate, dedicated London Play Streets website with all the inspiration, information and resources you need. So what are you waiting for? Jump through the wormhole, below.

Current work
2021: The Play Street Carousel is a unique project that harnesses the power of play to strengthen bonds between neighbours, even as the pandemic keeps us all apart.
London Play Press Releases
From Monday 14 September, it will be illegal in England, unless at school or work, for someone to meet more than five other people at a time. What does this mean for play streets?

LONDON PLAY STREETS

Visit our dedicated site for inspiration, information and all the resources you need to start your own play street - or just to find out more.
VISIT LONDON PLAY STREETS

With Covid-19 in retreat, World Car Free Day in September 2021 will be the perfect opportunity to swap your car for a spacehopper and try out a play street on your road.

Thanks to funding from Transport for London, in 2018 and 2019 London Play was able to help London residents or schools trial a play street on Car Free Day. We encouraged councils across London to sign up to the Car Free Day Play Street Pledge, making it free and easy for their residents to apply.

On Car Free Day 2019 over 380 streets across London were open for play – and closed to traffic –  creating more than 400,000 sqm of instant play space!

The first 100 to apply through us got free spacehoppers (or other equipment to get the fun started) and we offered free resources to help people plan, consult and promote their events. One lucky street also won an on-street go kart building workshop on the day.

The process varies from borough to borough but will involve consulting your neighbours and applying to the council well in advance of the day (at least six weeks in most cases). So get started now – click here to get in touch and find out more. Or scroll down to click through to our dedicated London Play Streets website for all the inspiration, information and downloadable tools and resources you need.

We are hopeful that 2021 will be the best Car Free Day London has seen yet!

Current work
2021: The Play Street Carousel is a unique project that harnesses the power of play to strengthen bonds between neighbours, even as the pandemic keeps us all apart.
London Play Press Releases
From Monday 14 September, it will be illegal in England, unless at school or work, for someone to meet more than five other people at a time. What does this mean for play streets?

LONDON PLAY STREETS

Visit our dedicated site for inspiration, information and all the resources you need to trial your own play street on Car Free Day - or any day.
VISIT LONDON PLAY STREETS

Funder: Heritage Lottery

Play Streets Past and Present got modern youngsters looking at the strips of concrete and tarmac outside their homes with new eyes.

The screams of delight of children playing on London’s streets of the past are ringing in the ears of kids living in those same streets today. Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, London Play spent most of 2014 working with an oral historian and the Museum of London on this fascinating investigation into play on the street in London’s past.

 

Six streets across London were selected to take part in the project – which aimed to capture the memories older residents had of playing out as children, and to  revive that tradition by passing their stories onto younger generations through creative art and play sessions.

And revived it was!  Inspired by recollections of the fascination with outer space, children in Haringey found themselves taking off for distant galaxies in their self-built cardboard space rocket; Islington kids had a splash turning their street into a temporary river; and the teddy bears came out to play in Waltham Forest.

Read more about how we did it here and take a look at the case studies and resources available for download below.

For more information about the project, please email project worker Catherine Togut or call 0203 384 8510.

Museum of London

Canning Road case study
Brooke Road
Remembering and reminiscence
Winton Avenue case study
Oral history guide
Evacuee play trove
10 June: I have just come back from a full on day of filming the evacuees, I learnt so much. There so many people to coordinate in the crew. I’m looking forward to filming at St John’s Primary on Friday. Teresa the teacher said the children can’t wait to be on TV. Well we will
Evacuee play trove
17 July: It's been confirmed that the end of project event will be on Friday 18 October at the Churchill War Rooms! What a fitting venue - Churchill’s wartime bunker is a fascinating piece of living history; an underground maze of rooms that once buzzed with round-the-clock planning and plotting, strategies and secrets.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP

Funder: National Lottery

Children’s freedom to roam – to independently go to the shops, the park or walk to school has been steadily shrinking over the last three generations. This pilot project aimed to reverse this.

This six month pilot project focused on the Palmers Green neighbourhood in the London Borough of Enfield. The aim is that it will become a place where children are welcomed by the community and can independently enjoy everything the area has to offer.

We worked with play street organisers, shop keepers, local schools, cafe owners, bus drivers, street scene workers, community policing teams, postal workers and others in the community, to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of independence in child development and how they could support it. They were encouraged to make small changes to the way they work, like taking time out to talk to the children they see during their daily routines – and handing out stickers to children that they see playing well and independently.

The project included running play sessions with volunteers, walking buses to parks and play events. A series of ‘Safe Points’ were established around the neighbourhood including at the community café in the park, the corner shop or the train station – allowing children to play freely in the knowledge that they can find a trustworthy adult if they encounter a problem. A ‘peer buddies’ system established networks of children who could play together.

We hope that Palmers Green will be the first of many Play Quarters to be established across London and ultimately beyond it. A second pilot was established in Waltham Forest and the model has great potential for expansion.

You can also like the Play Quarters Facebook page for regular updates on activity!

Access to nature
February 2012: Following on from last summer's community engagement day at Beam Washlands where London Play introduced plans for a natural playscape to the local community, the first equipment has now been installed and is now well established as part of the landscape.
Access to nature
September 2012: Play features provided by London Play as part of its Access to Nature project were given a thorough testing during the public event launching the £5m transformation of Haringey's Lordship Recreation Ground. Around 8,000 residents attended a community festival held on Saturday 22 September to mark the park's rebirth - and the refurbished

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP