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As the lock-down will be ongoing for the foreseeable future, please can the government make provision for daily outdoor play for children, to equate with adult exercise? This is vital for children’s mental health.

Could communities (especially for close and flat weans) be allowed to garden share?  Could parks or green spaces be open ONLY for families with young childen, two times a week, say from 12.00 to 16.00 hours. Could football/tennis/bowling grounds be used for this purpose too?

Could you make a clear, strict list of acceptable play activities that ensure family group only, low-contact activities?  If the times and places are clear then society will equate this playtime as equal to shopping for food or travel by key workers.

Play is essential activity for kids. Please, please try to harness all the resources we have in Scotland to make it truly a world leader in looking after children after the pandemic.

@Felløper – currently a university play researcher, formerly outdoor playworker and play designer


If you have any further suggestions for how we can get children outdoors and active during the lockdown, please post them below and we’ll pass them on to the Scottish government.


  • Thanks for sharing my thoughts on play during Corona. Although I am based in Norway currently we are all affected and I have not forgotten over two decades of tenement life in Glasgow!
    The original tweet can be found here:

  • Wendy Ness says:

    I think parks and green spaces should be open to everyone who stays in a flat within xkm dependent on size of park and population density in surround. Social isolating rules apply. If that makes them too busy folk could be allocated parks/times dependent on postcode.
    I think this is important for mental health of everyone.

  • Elaine Fraser says:

    Wholeheartedly agree with suggestions made above. Many children don’t have access to a green space or play area or garden and even those who do need more space than the average garden in Scotland. If off licences are to remain open then surely kids needs should also be priority? If Scotland is to be the best place to grow up then lead the way during this pandemic .WE HAVE THE SPACE !! On the whole parents are responsible – community councils & local authorities need to work together.This should be devolved so that towns can do what works for them.This crisis could be an opportunity to get more kid out cycling and enjoying outdoors.I am now much happier cycling on the quiet roads and my confidence is growing even in the space of three week.
    Sport centres have closed their car parks but could allow their playing fields and car parks for bikes scooters skates to be used responsibly.
    communal back gardens should be used for children in flats
    school grounds
    country parks /forests
    some european countries have closed streets to cars to allow kids to play
    Where there is a will there is a way.We have a bit of communal garden here and no one is using it because they are frightened so some nursery/primary aged kids are cooped up all day – its ridiculous – lead the way Scottish government and gave clear guidance with flexibility – show trust in common sense – parents do not want to put their kids at risk – give us back the responsibility and we will us it wisely.

  • Elaine Paterson says:

    I also wondered about the empty school playgrounds being used in a similar, organised manner? Would mean most would have a local one nearby.

  • Erika says:

    During the lockdown some of the activities we have been doing with my 5 & 2 year old.

    1. Eye spy while out for a walk, colours for the 2 year old, letters for the 5 year old

    2. Making nature bracelets while on our walk. Sticky tape round wrist that you stick grass, leaves and flowers to.

    3. Scavenger hunt – 2 year old had to find things of certain colours, 5 year old certain letters but could be a list of objects.

    4. Football skills at the park

    5. Kite flying

    6. Making a small raft at home then walk to a river to float it down

    7. Ride bikes, scooters etc

    8. Skipping rope/ learn to skip.

    It is not fair on others to say that parks etc should be exclusively used for young families even for a short period of time just because parents lack any sort of imagination.

    Also having lots of families in the park at the same time is asking for the social distancing to go out the window and that is how you get to the stage where all outdoor activity is banned!

  • Let children lick up a short stick on a walk and gather a few leaves, flowers, feathers and wind them round the stick as they walk through the park as a journey stick. Or collect the items e.g. stones, grass, leaves, feathers etc and several short sticks to make a frame for the picture they create with these items on their return home. Wash hands afterwards and watch they don’t get put in young inexperienced mouths.

  • Paul Burton says:

    Agree with your insights! Outdoor play is essential for children’s mental and physical development. Lockdowns have already impacted that and just stuffing them inside homes will prove to be more traumatic for future generations. Rather we need to establish guidelines and administrative protocols for maintenance of parks and equipments and ensure that they have a safe place to venture outside; even for some amount of hours a day.

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