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London’s Victoria Park Becomes One Big Play Pen to Celebrate Playday

Many readers will remember listening to that sonorous ballad “Come Fly With Me”, writes Jethro Marsh for FE News. Well, now SkillsActive are paraphrasing, as they tell the youngsters throughout London: “Come and play with us!”

The message is being delivered on the day that young people across the nation’s capital descend upon Victoria Park to witness the transformation that has taken place. The event, “Playday”, will take place today, Wednesday the 2nd of August, from midday. For the duration of this one day, the park has become an enormous play area, thanks to SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the active leisure and learning sector.

Playing in the Sun!

The blazing summer heat of July may have passed by and left a slightly cooler start to August ““ for which much of Britain shall remain eternally grateful ““ but the sunshine is still present to light up the various activities in the park. These include activities involving a giant parachute, and some inflatable football games to remind everyone of June’s face ““ painting madness.

There will also be such stalwarts of the traditional village “fayre” as the balance challenge of the egg and spoon race, the “falling on the ground” game of the sack race and the mid ““ 20th Century fad of hula hoops. Playday is now entering its 18th year, and expects to involve more than 100,000 children in this year’s theme: “Play, Naturally.”

Playing Needs to Be Brought Back

The Director of the “playwork” unit for SkillsActive, Paul Bonel, explained why he is looking forward to today’s event. He said: “We are very excited to be taking part in this year’s “Playday” in Victoria Park, and whilst we may be offering children a range of activities, we are prepared for children that want to engage in ways we may never think of as that is the beauty of play.

“Children of all ages have a natural drive to play and traditionally, have enjoyed and benefited from playing in the natural environment,” he continued, before citing one of the dangers of progress. “However, modern society has eroded these opportunities. Children living in both towns and countryside often cannot find places to play naturally.”

The event is free, and open to all. So go along and enjoy the summer sun and the day’s play ““ and then tell us at FE News what you took from the Victoria Park event!

Jethro Marsh

FE’s monkey shares his thoughts in From the FE Trenches!

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