Over 700 people attended our outdoor play sessions during the Spring Half Term; basking in the warm sunshine, dodging rain drops and looking out for thunder and lightning depending on the day of the week – the Great British springtime weather in full force!
People of all ages and abilities played in their community spaces together and took part in activities such as ‘jumpers for goalposts’ informal sports, football, basketball, tennis etc as well as den building, water fights and creative play. We are also discovering there is more need than ever for our sensory play offer using gloop, oats, play sand, mud, water, materials, paint and much more. This could be down to a lack of opportunities to get mucky elsewhere, and let’s face it the flat screen of a phone and TV don’t offer much in the way of tactile responses, regardless of how good a TV show or game is. The expense of using different items for sensory play could also be what puts people off, and it costs our charity a fair amount to restock the used equipment after each session – so if you know of anyone or businesses out there that would like to sponsor ‘sensory play’ then please do get in touch with us.
National Volunteer week started on June 1st led by the iwill campaign, our Young Volunteer Taz arrived on site to help out despite breaking her finger the day before – that is commitment to the cause! We also encountered a family from Poland who were celebrating the Polish tradition of Children’s Day. Mum told us that she was open to whatever her kids wanted to do on that day, so they had ice cream for breakfast and then came to the park. Imagine their joy when the stumbled upon our Play Rangers, a trip to the park that was only going to be for an hour or so turned into a full day of child-led celebratory play. Perfect!
It was a busy week of play, one of our Rangers hit 10,000 steps by 11am during our session in the Forest of Dean! Our Play Rangers love to use their surroundings for play, playing next to train line we introduced one of our favourite games (similar to ‘the floor is lava’), so whenever the local tourist steam train went past you had to get your feet off the ground as quickly as possible. This led to many inventive ways of ‘getting off the ground’ when we heard the train huffing and puffing as it approached. The people on the train must have been very confused at one point to see a bunch of people lying on their backs with feet waggling in the air!
Half term also saw the start of a new project, working with the Virtual School to provide our award winning Play Nurture sessions to children and young people in care. The first of 5 sessions went well and a day of friendship and fun was had. Plenty more exciting work ahead as we now enter a new term and approach the summer holidays. We return to school and community play sessions on Monday 11th June with a new after school session starting in Bredon on Wednesdays 4-6pm. Check our play diary for more information.