Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-8kt4b Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-17T07:48:52.737Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Prologue

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2022

Get access

Summary

In a typical English residential street of Victorian terraced houses either side of a road, usually lined bumper to bumper with parked cars, children are playing in the manner of children everywhere: noisily; randomly; in small groups, pairs or just on their own.

Play perennials like skipping, hula hoops and hopscotch abound, although other games in evidence are more specific to this generation of children, this neighbourhood or this moment. Bikes, scooters and roller blades are in ample evidence but there are still more children on foot, though rarely walking. Running, skipping and jumping – or a combination of all three – seem to be the default modes of movement, leading nowhere in particular but full of intent.

The play seems infinitely varied, spontaneous and freeform. Although some adults are present, they are not in charge; no one is coordinating or directing save for the children themselves, who seem to be entirely at home in the happy chaos of it all. Much of the anarchic activity is happening in the middle of the road, the pavement being far too narrow to contain it all.

It is summer and at one end of the street someone has brought out a hose. Children are screaming with delight as they try – but not too hard – to evade the water’s cold, wet arcs. Others are having a race, which is fiercely competitive but none too organised. There is little agreement about the winner, but no one seems to care much – or not for long anyway.

Such a scene, one might imagine, is commonplace. A normal day, perhaps a weekend, a school holiday or an early summer evening, in a normal street where families live and children gravitate towards one another in the one common space that is within sufficiently easy reach of their homes that they can come and go at will.

But look again, as we zoom out from this picture. There are no children playing in the adjacent street, or any of those parallel to it, though they house roughly the same demographic. Zoom back in and notice that at either end of the street are adults in ‘high-vis’ jackets wearing badges and holding clipboards. They have erected barriers and are keeping out traffic, apart from the occasional resident’s vehicle, which is escorted at walking pace by one of these voluntary stewards.

Type
Chapter
Information
Policy for Play
Responding to Children's Forgotten Right
, pp. xix - xx
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Prologue
  • Adrian Voce
  • Foreword by Roger Hart
  • Book: Policy for Play
  • Online publication: 08 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781447319436.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Prologue
  • Adrian Voce
  • Foreword by Roger Hart
  • Book: Policy for Play
  • Online publication: 08 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781447319436.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Prologue
  • Adrian Voce
  • Foreword by Roger Hart
  • Book: Policy for Play
  • Online publication: 08 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781447319436.003
Available formats
×