BEFORE YOUR FIRST SESSION
We offer lots of free resources to help your first and future play street sessions run as smoothly as possible. Here are the main things you need to do in the run up (2-4 weeks) before your first session happens:
- Contact Hackney Council to arrange to collect road closed signs. Most streets will need at least two ‘road closed’ signs and for many roads it’s often good to have ‘road ahead closed’ signs too. Hackney Council’s Streetscene team can sort these out for you and advise: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tell us when your first session is going to take place. We’ll try to make it along to your first one, to provide support on the day. We can also provide you with a start-up pack including stewarding equipment (high vis and whistles) to get you going.
- Publicise your play street so your neighbours know about it. You can post out flyers or letters or put out posters in windows or on lampposts in the week or so beforehand. Use our editable templates for posters to make it a bit easier, or feel free to create your own! We’d love to see it if you do.
- Do a risk/benefit assessment. It’s a good idea to think through any potential issues and how you will manage them before the start of your You can use this TEMPLATE and we can offer advice too.
- You will need to recruit neighbours to help with stewarding on the day. There has to be two people at each end of the street to warn cars and escort them in or out at 5mph once children have been cleared from the road. See our Safe Stewarding tips HERE (separate page on web?). Playing Out have a steward’s briefing for use on the day.
- On the day, arrange to meet and brief your steward’s at least 15 minutes before the road is due to close so that they are clear about their role. Stewards need to take the role seriously and we advise that people doing it are not looking after young children (eg those under 5) as this can be tricky to manage.
- Get ready to get on with the fun bit of playing out and getting to know more of your neighbours!
DURING YOUR PLAY STREET SESSION
- There’s no need to organise too much for your play street session. Children will do a lot of it for themselves and will enjoy coming up with their own fun.
- Some basic street games and items that can work well are chalk, skipping ropes, hula hoops and soft balls, but it’s always best to let the children take the lead.
- Putting the kettle on and offering out tea always goes down well with the adults and you could think about having a few volunteer tea makers. People often make cakes too and sometimes set up small stalls.
- You could put up some bunting across the road or around your road closed signs to make it look more fun.
- Make sure you sign up to our Hackney Playing Out Facebook group and the national Playing Out group for more inspiration and ideas, and to ask any questions of current Play Streets organisers.