Two new opportunities for children in South Leeds to play outdoors start on Saturday morning (15 February 2014).
Children aged 8 to 12 years old are being encouraged to join in making dens and slides, learn street games, make new friends and play. They are advised to bring their Breeze card and wrap up warm.
Organisers aim to help children and their families to play safely together in their community. Playing out helps children stay healthy, make friends and live happier lives. Helen Simpson, Play Co-ordinator at Better Leeds Communities, is an advocate of for the importance of play:
“Children themselves haven’t changed over the years, if you give them the opportunities to make dens, stir mud pies or climb trees they jump at it. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is seeing a child learn his or her own limits from something as simple as edging along a branch tentatively, testing its strength with a cautious foot and eventually finding the best place to hang from a branch and jump down. You know that having not been told, but by actually doing it for themselves they have learnt a skill they will never lose and in doing so, experienced the freedom of playing in a natural playground. Let children play by giving them something to do, not something to don’t.”
You can join the play in Beeston at Cross Flatts Park from 10:30-12pm or in Middleton on Blenkinsop Field, the land next to Middleton Primary School, from 1:30-3pm.
The sessions, which will run for six weeks, have been organised by Better Communities Leeds and are funded by Councillors on the Inner South Area Committee through their Youth Activities Fund.
Organisers stress that this is not childcare, children are free to come and go. It is led by qualified play workers and first aider on site. For more information please call Helen on (0113) 275 4142 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.