Do children still do that now?
PATH is running a project which invites local communities to gather together and share memories of their childhood playing. Through this process we aim to look at how important free play is in childhood, to look at the similarities between playing all over the world and to think about how our children are playing today.
We believe that children are missing out on their playing now. Especially in this urban landscape, time and space to experience freely chosen play, in a natural environment is a rare event. After school clubs, sports activities and such are not the same thing as play. They do not give children the same chance to experience and understand their worlds in the same way.
Through sharing our memories and thinking about the lack of playing in our children’s lives today, we can work together to find ways to support kids in discovering a rich play world on their doorstep. We are particularly concerned with the opportunities that children with disabilities have to experience their play with their peers in places very close to their homes.
Play Times offers a chance for communities to do something to improve the world for their children now. There will be opportunities for training, planned sessions with playworkers to kick start new initiatives, access to scrap stores, information and continuing support. We will work with communities to identify the physical changes they feel are needed to their open spaces and help them to find funding to make those changes with the support of people who make it their business to understand the most successful ways to create a play space. We will be holding exhibitions based on our shared work for those of you who are willing to contribute.
The playing of children is not only an indicator of the health and well being of a community, but a catalyst for that health. It is the responsibility of all of us to rekindle its flame.
The project is funded through Play Matters, locally distributed Big lottery Funding in LAPs 5 & 6 to address the high levels of play deprivation in this area and in LAP 5 with the emphasis of the gathering of play memories and the provision of training for communities through Action for Bow. We thank our sponsors and you for agreeing to work with us.