Children's freedom to play is more dependent on the public realm (streets, pavements, verges, incidental open space, front gardens) than it is on playgrounds and parks. Children play where road design slows traffic down (street play). Play strategies which concentrate on the provision of play facilities are flawed because increased provision cannot compensate for the reduction in children's freedom to play caused by the domination of the car in residential roads. Current ‘Play Streets’ legislation needs to be altered so that its purpose is to ‘promote a healthy lifestyle and increased neighbourliness’. They should be called ‘home roads’ or similar so that they cater for the whole community. Such an approach would also help tackle obesity.