Five Days and Countless Ways to Play

Five Days and Countless Ways to Play

At the start of 2016 Lyttelton Street Playcentre faced a challenge: to build their profile in the community, and have a playful time doing so!

Held in early March, Playcentre Awareness Week provided the impetus for a wonderfully creative initiative for Lyttelton Street.

With a crash and a crunch, Music Monday and Texture Tuesday set the week in motion. President, Beverley Laundry, laughs as she recalls the atmosphere on the Monday. ‘With seven visiting families, it got a bit crazy! But we got through it with banging, bashing and boogying!’

Tuesday was a messy play extravaganza, with cloud dough, Lux flake slime, playdough and sand proving popular. In the middle, Bubble Bonanza gave a giant bubble demonstration.

Wilderness Wednesday saw the families of Lyttelton Street head into Hagley Park for the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. ‘This was a fun, relaxing way to spend a morning and a great opportunity for us to connect with the wider Playcentre community’, says Beverley.

Rolling on, Transport Thursday saw a construction fleet set up in the sandpit surrounded by caution tape and cones; while, inside, the kids enjoyed painting tracks with toy cars.                                                                       

The week rounded off around the kai table with pancakes and fruit kebabs – on Foodie Friday. Of course there were many other dishes on offer – coming thick and fast from the mud kitchen. This Friday also saw the centre farewell one of their Playcentre graduates, and what better way than with shared kai.

Structured around different themes of play, there are other messages that come across loud and clear when you listen to Beverley: the fun that happens when people come together; the warmth of relationships between families; and the freedom children (and adults) have to play, experiment and explore. ‘The kids just get into it and do it their way. We set things up, then they take the play wherever they want’, Beverley explains.

Simple things like painting patterns with cars and creating concoctions with mud demonstrate the inherent, inexorable, infectious force that is play – when children have the freedom to take things into their own hands!

The families at Lyttelton Street satisfied their objectives of showcasing what they’re all about and having a blast: ‘It was full-on, but also a lot of fun!’

It’s not surprising that enrolments at the centre are up. As Beverley explains, ‘the focus is now shifting towards welcoming our new families’.

For the kids the focus hasn’t changed: to play and play and play, surrounded and supported by grown-ups and lots of friends!

By Kate Barber

Five Days and Countless Ways to Play

Posted: Sunday 3 April 2016