Making Memories… Giving Hope

Let's Play!

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Today is Playday - a day to celebrate children's right to play. 

At CHICKS, we really value the importance of play, and encourage children to learn through playing. Our Respite Break Manager, Richard, explains:

Play is critical to life.  It is how we develop relationships and for children it is how they explore and make sense of the world. 

However, true “free-play” is under threat. In an increasingly busy and technological world, imaginative and creative self-led play is becoming a rarity for children, especially when they leave those toddler and pre-school years. Even teenagers need space and time to play (although they may use other words to describe it) as this is where they develop an understanding about what it means to be an adult.

In almost two decades of working with children and young adults I have seen that all too often they will become “stuck” or bored without direction or entertainment. But this seems to be a tragic lost opportunity when you consider that self-directed play is known to build confidence, social competence and empathy; when it allows children to explore their identity and their emotions. I shudder at the thought of a world where children grow up without developing these skills and awareness.

Our approach at CHICKS is to give time and space for this magical world of play. Children (from the ages 8 to 15) who join us for a week-long residential respite break get lots of time to explore and feel free. They all experience adventures in the outdoors, interact with peers and adults through fun and games, experiment with their identity and express their feelings. 

All of this is achieved through adventure and play in a supportive and relaxed environment. It is the skill and focus of our Respite Break Leaders that provides this space for safe playful discovery, ensuring a balance between individual attention and positive group interaction. 

Most importantly we support children to develop new skills and ideas in a way that they can transfer them into their everyday lives.  The aim is that the children will integrate their new found abilities in play when they return home to their families, their friends and their communities.

Feeling inspired? Why not come and volunteer with us this Autumn...

 

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