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Pre-Schoolers in the Playground

Please note – this project is not currently running. This page will be updated as and when the project starts again.

Pre-Schoolers in the Playground (PiP) is a 10-week project which provides opportunities for parents and children to get active in a safe outdoor environment while building parents’ skills and confidence in active play.

PiP was piloted in the playgrounds of three primary schools in Bradford during 2018/19:

  • Bowling Park Primary School, New Cross Street, West Bowling, Bradford, BD5 8BT
  • Bowling Park Primary School, Usher Street, East Bowling, Bradford, BD4 7DS
  • Killinghall Primary, 399 Killinghall Rd, Bradford BD3 7JF

It was available to all parents with pre-school children aged between 18 months and four years. Each school delivered three 10-week PiP courses across the school year. They opened up their playgrounds to parents and children at school drop-off and/or pick up times for half an hour every day, giving parents and carers a choice of when worked best for them.

The 30 minutes sessions were led by trained Parent Involvement Workers and consist of two 5-minute structured parent and child activity sessions and 20 minutes of free play. Each week families received a free piece of play equipment to keep which allowed them to recreate the activities at home.

As well as providing families with opportunities for active play, PiP also covered topics such as what to wear for outdoor play, how to praise and encourage children, and helped parents and carers to identify other outdoor spaces near them where they can be active with their children.

More information

The PiP programme was developed by researchers at Born in Bradford following the publication of the Chief Medical Officer’s guidance for physical activity in the under 5s. The development process was informed by physical activity literature and evidence of effective strategies to reduce health inequalities, as well as focus groups with Bradford parents. It was also tested via a pilot trial in Bradford schools.


Pre-Schoolers in the Playground is one of more than 20 projects being provided by Better Start Bradford for pregnant women and families with children under four in Little Horton, Bowling and Barkerend and Bradford Moor.