The Neighbourhood Play Project

The Health of a Nation Can Be Measured by the Health of Children in the Neighbourhood  

OUR MISSION: To find families willing to work with us to activate their neighbourhood as a place for children to play, and to capture the journey in this documentary.

Did we achieve this? We invite you to come along to the premier screening, and find out for yourself...


The Story

This timely and important documentary is centered on two of our most precious resources.... our children and where we live. 

It is no secret that over the past 30 years, childhood has drastically changed.   

Children are quickly losing interest in a world beyond their front door. The way this generation plays is vastly different to their parents.   

We went on a mission: to see if we could find families willing to go on a journey with us, to try to activate their neighbourhoods as places for children to play.  

But is it possible in this modern world?  

After months of planning, searching, connecting, playing and exploring this topic, and exploring many average Australian suburban neighbourhoods; after facing many challenges, having many tough conversations, and discovering hard hitting facts surrounding children's neighbourhood play, we have the answer..... 

The Neighbourhood Play Project is a powerful, insightful, heart-aching, and unflinching examination of why neighbourhoods have become the canary in the coal mine regarding the ways that kids play and the health of our communities. 

And, we managed to have lots of fun along the way... 

Would you like to attend this FREE documentary launch?


Please note: This documentary registration is separate to the registration for the Childhood Summit. 

Premier Screening

Venue: Royal International Convention Centre, 600 Gregory Tce, Bowen Hills, QLD, 4006. Paid parking on site. 

Date: Friday 29 March 2019 

Session time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm 

Format of the night: introduction, screening, discussion / Q&A and discussion. 


Watch the teaser

Read the blog

How did this documentary come about?

In just one generation, the average Australian childhood has shifted from a largely outdoors, active, independent, social, community orientated play; to a mostly indoors, sedentary, technologically immersed, highly structured, fearful and risk adverse play space.  

The Neighbourhood Play Project was an exploration of this issue to help activate local communities. 

Commencing with a Community Forum in Caboolture (occurred in April 2018), expressions of interest were gathered to identify people who would like to participate in a community project to activate their street and with their children. To ‘walk their local neighbourhood’ with other local children to learn more how children play outdoors. 

A neighbourhood play event was held at a local park to invite local children and their families to participate (July 2018). Local children walked with a facilitator over several weekend sessions. The process was filmed and the project culminated in the creation of a documentary that shines a light on neighbourhood play and also acts as a pilot to help other communities activate play in their area.

Meet Our Play Champions

Marissa at Wamuran

There are 4 of us in our Family! My name is Marissa, I’m a wife to my hubby Graham, and a Mother to our 2 beautiful children, Mayla and Zayden. I work part time as Professor JellyBean, delivering hands on experiments to kids and I’m also volunteer at my daughter’s school.  Mayla our daughter is 7years old, she is such a kind caring friend.  Zayden our little boy is 3, he loves getting outside and being active. We have been living in Wamuran for 4 years now and I am super excited to be taking on the ‘Neighbourhood Play Project’! I volunteered to be a part of this project because I love my community and I love attending community events and giving the kids an opportunity to interact with others. I want to build on the Community we have and keep the ‘Community Spirit’ alive. I would love my kids to connect with others in the community and give them opportunities to play freely. I think it’s vital for kids to get outdoors and develop a sense of interconnectedness with nature. 

Marissa's Facebook Page

Tracy at Caboolture

Hello, I am Tracy and I moved to Caboolture to make it home after growing up in Auckland, NZ. I have an education background supporting  supporting families.  My husband, Andrew and I together with our two kids, Sarah (16) and Zayden (5) are making our home at Riverbank Estate. It is an amazing place to live, its new, its fresh, and best of all we are seeing kids, adults and furry friends out and about interacting with each other. I am keen to encourage neighbourhood play to build a rich community.  

Tracy's Facebook Page

A Simple Plan Of Action

Click image above for a printable PDF version

Advanced Tips for Parents to Support Neighbourhood Play

Share Your Plans: Talk through your concerns and plans with other neighbouring parents
Share Leadership: Aim to share leadership of the community to strengthen the group and share the load
Be Patient: and be prepared for peaks and troughs of engagement. Relationships take time.
Scaffold Challenge: Build on your child’s exposure to the neighbourhood and cater for their level of challenge
Plan for Expansion: Children will always want more, to expand their horizons.
Face your Fears: Assess them based on your experience, and not perceptions of danger.
Stop Saying NO: Before you say NO to your child’s neighbourhood play requests, stop to consider the realities of your concerns, and possible alternatives that will keep your child interested and out in the neighbourhood
Explore with Children: From time to time go with your child to remain connected with their skills level in traverse the neighbourhood
Planned Social Media: Use social media to connect and grow

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