|Conclusions on Right to play
At the third conference day the remarks of the participants around the subtheme of the conference ‘right to play’ were collected and shared in the closing session. Which challenges did they collected during this conference, and wich themes needs more attention to improve the conditions of a childfriendly – playfull – environment? Following points needs to get more attention in the play policy, at national ánd local level.
1. Parents behavior
Parents have a key position in relation to the play possibilities of their children. They decide if their children are allowed to play and responsible, they have concerns, and fears, which influences children’s play, so,
– help them and inform them about the importance and possibilities to let children play, but don’t lecture the parents!
– look for simple practical steps parents can take part to support child free mobility, street closures, and community-activities
– use the contact with schools to talk about play and play behavior
2. Intersectoral approach
Play has to be an issue in many ‘policy-fields’, so an intersectoral approach on local level is necessary. Build bridges with con-colleges from other policyfields. (youth, education/schools, urban planners, public space, traffic, sport etc),
– share and use cooperate strategies in advocacy, help with using data and research,
– work intersectoral and interdisciplinary.
– consolidate examples, f.e. in cooperation with national networks Childfriendly cities.
3. Give attention to the needs of FREE PLAY
The focus on formal education is growing. Time of children seemed to get to much ‘over’- organized and activities with an educational approach seemed to get more important compare with free play; both ways of play and leisure time needs to get attention.
– children needs their free-leisure time to play: time for their own, to make their own playtime.
– take care of a playful environment
4. Discuss TOLERANCE
– in cities the issues of intolerance against children and youngsters in the public domain is increasing
– start discussions – in cooperation with the media – with adults in neighborhoods to improve communication and a positive ‘play-climate’.
– discuss ways to solve conflicts.
5. Spread the PLAY VIRUS
– build relations with politicians, parents, talk about play with parents, schools and all the adults and NGO’s to improve the play policy and play possibilities at local level!
– use the common media to get personal real stories across, as a public campaign to let children play.
Froukje Hajer (the Netherlands)