Preparing for school through the power of play!

Playful Lives

From messy fingers to busy feet, play comes in all shapes and sizes. In the summer of 2021, our Playful Lives team took play on the road, bringing fun-filled sessions to gardens in Newcastle and hosting playtime at our Cowgate centre.

There is a lot of power in play, both as a way to learn and a way to connect. Yet COVID lockdowns and time spent away from school made learning and engaging with other children more difficult. Add into to the mix that families may be dealing with different pressures, and playtime becomes harder to make happen.

This is where the Playful Lives team could step in and provide a helping hand. For example, one family who took part had approached the Cowgate Centre team to see if there were any fun activities their daughter could take part in after the isolation of lockdown.

Dad explains, “It was supposed to be her first year in school, but instead she spent almost two years mostly with adults. Coming to the sessions were a big moment for her. A time to have fun after COVID. It was especially great to see her meeting other kids.”

“She really enjoyed herself, and she isn’t easy to impress! There were lots of activities to do: drawing, painting, Play-Doh, sand. We also did dancing, which was great. It was the drawing and making she enjoyed the most. She made a crown to wear, bracelets and a teddy bear. She was very happy with what she had made.”

Dad reflects that the time with the Playful Lives team played a valuable role in helping his daughter to navigate for the transition from lockdown to starting school.

“We think it’s prepared her for when she does start. It has broken down her shield a little so she will be ready to spend time with other children.”