• Posted on Feb 16, 2021
  • BLOG

API Chair, Mark Hardy tells us why playgrounds are more important than ever this summer.

We all know that outdoor play is vital for children’s physical, mental and emotional health. We know too, that post-lockdown outdoor play will be key in helping children to recover and thrive.  But do we really appreciate the special role playgrounds have in our lives or do we take them for granted?

Research shows that playgrounds are hugely under-funded and disappearing fast.  If playgrounds continue to decline at the current rate, our communities could look very different very soon: once a playground disappears it’s usually gone forever.


Here’s 7 reasons why we can’t let that happen:

  1. For children in the 1 in 8 UK households without gardens, playgrounds are often the only outdoor space in which to play.
  2. Playgrounds are spaces created just for children – a rare thing in today’s world.
  3. Playgrounds are a free public service and open to all children.
  4. Playgrounds are the heart of communities. Just like the local shop, pub or school, playgrounds connect people every day.
  5. Playgrounds are inclusive. Children from all walks of life and all abilities play there.
  6. Children play out more when they have a playground nearby.
  7. Playgrounds help tackle childhood obesity, mental health and sleep problems.