Outdoor Play in Public Green Spaces: Perspectives of Mothers of Young Children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Digital Library
This research examines the understanding of outdoor play in public green spaces among six mothers of young children between the ages of 3–6 years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Mothers of young children play a central role in managing their children’s play. Understanding mothers' perspectives on the use of public outdoor places can make visible their views on the relationship between outdoor spaces, children, and their experiences. A narrative life history approach documenting mothers’ experiences and perspectives was used as a research design. Life history interviews and an analysis of policies governing outdoor public spaces in Saudi Arabia were undertaken. Interviews were analysed using a three-dimensional space approach and grounded theory. One finding indicated positive perspectives of outdoor play in public green spaces amongst the mothers. Despite mothers valuing outdoor play experiences, opportunities were restricted according to needs and priorities. COVID-19 produced a fear of visiting these public spaces for a period. Online learning for two years in Saudi Arabia was associated with increased visits of these spaces as a substitute place to interact and play with others.
Outdoor Play, Public Green Spaces, Child, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia