Saturday, 4 August 2012

Play Day at Wyke :)

I have had a fantastical day today at Wyke Community and Children's Centre's Play Day! My awesome friend Andy organised the entire event and not wanting to miss out on this, I volunteered to help out. Here are the highlights of my day:

Here we are, ready for action! Full of colour and fun already! I put up those buntings! :D

Here is the activity that I looked after today - the fire! I started it too! I love fires! :)

My fire and the kettle. Love the stand!

Andy, taking a seat and making some toast.

Parents launching children down the slip-and-slide! Such a fun spectator sport! I reckon it should be an Olympic sport really.

Andy bought me an icecream! Yay! :) And look at that sky! It said it was going to thunderstorm at around 2pm - this photo was taken around 3pm! Hoorah! :)

Children doing amazing tricks on the trampoline!

Suddenly, a big crowd of people wanted to make toast and marshmallows! Yay! :)

These little 'uns really wanted some toast, so I helped them! Don't they look happy now? :D Nom nom nom!

Slip and slide! The photo of the day! Look at the joy on their little faces!

Contender for the best photo of the day - a moment of contemplation with a jacket potato and hot chocolate in the treehouse.

The dream team - two First Honours Graduates watching the fire! This fire was looked after by super qualified playworkers! :) Wooooo! :) Go team! :)

After my first visit to Wyke, I knew that I would spend a lot more time there. It's a centre which has been able to strike a good balance between being a community hub but prioritise the needs of children. As I looked around today, this couldn't have been more apparent - this place is awesome! :)

Having spent such a long time being completely removed from actual play (but much time just studying the stuff), it was really good to get my teeth into it again and get completely grubby. The last time I did a play event was back in June when we celebrated the Queen's Jubilee. This time round, I was soooo ready to be swept away with the rhythm of play, and just do some playwork. It was really really well organised, everyone pitched in to do stuff, and there was a positive vibe throughout the day. 

Andy did a really good job overseeing everything - I was so proud! I was also really glad not be to doing that role for a change. With the work I've been doing in the States with Pop-Up Adventure Play, a lot of the time I was in that leading role because I had the most experience in playwork. As a volunteer this time, I was able to fully immerse myself in play, allowing the delegating, decision making and grown-up stuff be left to someone else. I have to say, I really miss it! I miss being able to just be there for the children and not really need to deal with adults very much, but I know that I would get lazy. The challenge of working with adults has real appeal because I know how let the child lead the play, but I'm still learning how to get parents to relinquish the control of play. Today was a reminder of what I am comfortable with doing. It is also a good introduction to another section of work to come in the US.

It's been a wonderful day, filled with many-a-playtype, data-busting amounts of people, and experience-enhancing play. I have been soooo chuffed all day - I can't quite describe how satisfied and happy I am. I'm sooo proud to have been part of the Play Day this year, and I'm looking forward to working again with the lovely people at Wyke Community and Children's Centre. :) Hoorah for everyone at there, and hoorah for Andy! :)

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