We live on a relatively quiet road. Few of the houses have space for garages or driveways, just small front gardens. So most of the time there are cars parked on both sides of the road. Consequently, as with many roads, the only time the children can play outside is when they dash up and down the pavement on their scooters.
My childhood street play was very different as I lived in a cul de sac with a large rectangle of road creating perfect playground. No parked cars as they were all on driveways. I have often reflected that if we had thought about it a home on a cul de sac would have improved the quality of my son’s life, in terms of outdoor play and socialising with local children. This Sunday we caught a glimpse of a street without cars and what a difference that could make.
Our road was closed for a couple of hous so that everyone could participate in the Big Lunch. The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours annually on the first Sunday in June in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.
We have a lot of young children living in our road (good local primary schools). It was just wonderful to see them all out in the road playing. It was mainly free play with some football, more organised table tennis and this wonderful street drawing in aid of world oceans day
I’m leaving you to imagine the ambience of the street party with about 40/50 adults and children attending. The food was placed on a large tale ight in the middle of the road so everybody could graze and move about socialising. I didn’t want to post photos of my neighbours on the internet without their permission, so no photots of them. But it wasn’t until I returned home and the party was over that I appreciated what an amazing event it had been and decided to blog about it. It had been the whole street out playing and had worked so well. Thank you Beate at No 77 for organising it. There is a great website called Playing Out with loads of ideas to help you make your street a place to play in.
The little boy who drew the whale on the top right was very proud of his creation. I hope he remembers the day he got to draw on the road.