This weekend our street was closed. No traffic came down the road between 2 and 4. At first a little tentatively and despite the rain, children played in a way unknown to them in their young lives.
‘Playstreets ‘ were common in the 1930s with roads being shut off from cars so children could play without fear of accident. As cars increased ‘playstreets’ dwindled and disappeared by the 1980s. It has been a concern over obesity and children’s obsessions over screens that has renewed an interest in recreating this outdoor activity.
It was unusual to see so many neighbours, some of whom had lived for so long in the street and yet had never to spoken to each other. It was a cheeringly positive afternoon and the parents here and in other parts of the country making ‘play streets’ happen are doing a very good thing.
I hope it is not too late for my twelve year old son who on several occasions made an excuse to return to the house. To my dismay I realised he had been checking some stupid thing he was doing on the i-pad. Oh for the by- gone days when playing and socialising where all physical and not virtual.
Next time my son won’t be going indoors for an instant and maybe I might of stepped on the i-pad between now and then!