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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 10:50 GMT
Cash for children's playgrounds
Adventure playground
Playgrounds let children take risk in a controlled environment
Grants worth millions of pounds to modernise playgrounds and improve youth services in England are set to be announced by the government.

The lack of opportunities for children to play was one of the issues that came out of consultations on the Children's Plan being published later.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls is expected to call for an end to what he calls the "no ball games here" culture.

Children have to learn about how to take risks in a safe place, he said.

For children in their early teenage years - supervised adventure play is great
Ed Balls
Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

He told BBC Breakfast that children, young people and their parents all said they need to have "decent places to go and places to play".

"We all are having to balance, on the one hand, keeping our children safe and also letting them play and learn about risk," he said.

"That's best done in a good, safe and bright place and decent playgrounds where kids can play and be safe are brilliant.

"For children in their early teenage years - supervised adventure play is great and as young children go into their teenage years we have got to invest in youth services."

Child psychology expert at Brunel University Dr Nicola Madge said: "Children want challenge. They need to learn how to take risks."

Adrian Voce from Play England said play was vitally important for different aspects of children's development.

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