"Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Vision" recognises that the type of environment for play is important, having an impact on children and young people’s experiences, choices and relationships, both with other people and with the environment itself. In particular,outdoor play especially in natural spaces is beneficial and provides experiences which cannot be replicated indoors.
Places that support and encourage children to play is an essential part of a delivering sustainable communities. Designers and policy makers have an important role in delivering safe, attractive, stimulating places that encourage children to be active and socialise. Places for play need not always be designated, equipped play areas. The streets, squares and green spaces within our communities are important in providing areas for children to play informally. Scottish Planning Policy sets out that planning authorities should protect valued open space, and seek to address needs identified in open space strategies. There should be clean, safe and welcoming spaces for children and young people to play and gather where they are not considered a nuisance by others in their communities, as set out in "Designing Places" and "Designing Streets" policies.
Children and young people need adults to encourage and facilitate their play, whilst not inhibiting their opportunities for freedom and choice. This means that everyone involved in planning, designing and managing local streets, open spaces and parks such as early learning and childcare staff, youth workers, teachers and play practitioners, parents, carers and local residents, particularly those willing to offer their services as volunteers, can all have a major impact on children.