Events Playing Out Reports

Playing out – Call to Arms

Kings Heath Centre for Space Exploration is once again coordinating efforts to organise a series of Playing out events for National Playday on 6th August 2014.  In 2014 we are looking to double the number of streets closed to traffic, open to play, from 3 last year, to more than 6 this year.  Happening, as it does, two days after the centenary of the start of World War One, we will begin the day with a game of football near the war memorial on Wheelers Lane – see more here.

Our next meeting is 9:15 Thursday 22nd May Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath.

“Playing Out” is street play led by neighbours for neighbours and only publicized within the immediate streets.  Residents close their road to traffic for a couple of hours, usually around the time children are coming home from school. This gives safety and freedom of movement to young and old alike, with volunteer stewards at each road closure point to redirect traffic.

Playing out is about free, unstructured play and people usually bring their own toys. Children are given the space and permission to play in the street, whilst adults have the chance to meet and get to know their neighbors better and experience a car-free street.

Here’s how it looked last year: 

Ingredients for playing out:

1 residential street
1 organiser
1 helper
4 or more stewards
neighbours and children
The Playing Out website

The streets that have expressed an interest so far are Albert Road, Bank Street, Goldsmith Road, Lewis Road, Peacock Road, Wheelers Lane, Woodville Road, Valentines Road.

Playing out is supported by Birmingham City Council (arranging Road closures, Fair Brum support), Amey (diversion signs etc), Musicmakers (short music workshops), Kings Heath Library (storytelling workshops)and Parks4Play (creative inclusive play support).

For further background information, the Birmingham Social Inclusion Process White Paper, ‘Making Birmingham an Inclusive City’, includes recommendations around developing more open spaces and developing a “Right to Play” campaign. You can download this document from the Fairbrum blog.

If you’d like to keep updated with the project, please visit or join the organisers google group mailing list.  Here’s a few photos from last year:


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