CHILDREN will be taking over a York street in a first for the city this weekend.

Saturday afternoon will see the first trial in York of a street closure purely for children’s play.

If successful, it is hoped other streets may follow the example set by The Big York Playday 2013 event, which will be staged in The Groves area of the city.

The event is part of a national campaign to encourage children to play outdoors and their parents to let them.

Taking place from 1pm to 6pm, the free York event, organised by various local organisations with support from City of York Council and Door 84 Youth Centre, will see a partial street closure in Brownlow Street Children will be able to enjoy street games, space hopper races, penalty shoot-outs, arts and crafts, street theatre, parachute games and more.

The York street party will celebrate Playday, a national festival of children’s rights to play, now in its 26th year nationwide.

As reported in The Press this week, national charity Play England found more than 50 per cent of adults they surveyed played out at least seven times a week when they were young, compared with only 23 per cent of children today.

Fears of strangers, traffic and intolerant neighbours were some of the main reasons given by parents over their concerns about children playing out.

Cath Prisk, director of Play England, said: “It’s up to all of us to turn around the creeping disappearance of children from our streets, parks and communities. We all have a role – as families, neighbours, and friends. We can all do something to say ‘we love kids playing outdoors, that we want to live in communities that actively welcome kids playing out.”

Play England has launched its Love Outdoor Play campaign in a bid to highlight the importance of outdoor play.

Streets have been temporarily closed in cities across the country, including London, Bristol, Oxford and Norwich, as part of the campaign to boost the confidence of parents to let their children play outdoors and to get youngsters active.

Following the street closures, parents said they felt more supported and neighbours got to know each other while it was reported children were more active.

Some local councils have introduced by-laws to cut red tape and make it easier for community groups to jump the legal hurdles involved when trying to arrange temporary street closures.

City of York Council has produced a leaflet for parents, Playing Out – A Right For Every Child, which gives commonsense advice about how to keep children safe when they play outdoors.