Playing Out Days on our road are proving to be hugely successful. I’m thrilled about this because it’s the start of creating a community in our neighborhood, a place we’ve called home for the past seven years but is now only just becoming a home within a friendly community – something I want for my children. Anna Grace met a girl around her same age and my husband chatted to a few of our neighbors. Jonah was at the center of it all as usual – it’s easier for children his age to play in and among a group of kids – they seem to do it naturally and are less inhibited. Sam on the other hand finds these days tedious because I force him to come out and be sociable and to at least make an effort. To be fair, there are no other boys his age so I understand how it’s not his most favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon. However, I think it’s important for developing his social skills and you never know, one day he might make a new friend.

It’s funny because I’ve noticed that on the day within the two hours of the Playing Out Day, socializing and meeting people in our neighborhood becomes completely acceptable and people are generally very friendly and open to people coming up and introducing themselves to each other. However, once it’s over, then normal British etiquette resumes. It does, however, enable us to start to recognize each other more when we’re on the school run or going to our cars or in the local shops and gradually barriers start to come down. This is so important and one of the many positive aspects of Playing Out Days.

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Meghan Peterson Fenn is the author of Bringing Up Brits and co-author of Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs with Heidi Mulligan Walker. Meghan is also the Director and Chief Designer at her own design company, White Ochre Design Ltd. And, she is an award winning expat blogger.