WE may all be at home, but, in our imaginations, we can go anywhere, be anyone, do anything. All we need to play is each other!
Scotland’s pioneering inter-generational imaginary play specialists, Licketyspit, have received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to adapt their popular family project, Big Porridge & Play Glasgow, to tackle social isolation and support families across Scotland during the Coronavirus lockdown.
The charity will bring groups of families together via Zoom to play games, sing songs and go on imaginary adventures – all from their own living rooms!
In trial sessions, families have made Flying Butterfly Cake, talked to Polar Bears, flown through a Tornado and climbed a Hot Chocolate Volcano with the Licketyspit actor-pedagogues!
Feedback has been hugely positive: “We enjoyed seeing others and being creative with everyone and we would love it to happen again.” (Boatemma, Ruchill); “It’s so nice to see everyone after so many days.” (Piyanshu, 8, the Gorbals).
Big Porridge & Play has been created with and for children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Glasgow and supports families to tap into their imaginations for hours of joy, excitement, creative learning and connection.
As one mother, from Ruchill, reflected last year: “Their imagination has come on so much and they feel comfortable playing without any objects/toys now.”
Families across Scotland with children aged 3-12 will be able to join Porridge & Play open sessions -imaginary Play Sessions for the whole family online every Saturday morning at 10am from Saturday 30 May. TO JOIN email email@example.com or text 07413 800 342
There will be a dedicated CFN Facebook Group and lots of ideas for things to do at home in between sessions. “It’s fun, relaxing, good for bonding with your child and reducing stress.” (Dad, Whiteinch)
Licketyspit is one of a number of organisations working together to highlight the urgent need to address ‘digital inequality’ during lockdown, through the No One Left Behind Digital Scotland Campaign and with colleagues on the Ethnic Minority National Resilience Network. They will work with BEMIS Scotland to ensure that digital access isn’t a barrier to participating in Big Porridge & Play.
Artistic director and CEO of Licketyspit, Virginia Radcliffe, said: “Being with children gives adults a reason to play, but we all need what children need, especially to help us cope with the current crisis – play helps us relax and access our limitless imaginations.
“The Coronavirus lockdown is a confusing and anxious time for many children as they find themselves separated from their daily routine and friendships.
“Playing with adults who take play as seriously as they do empowers children, and with parental engagement shown to be the biggest single factor in a child’s capacity to learn, playing together in Big Porridge & Play online is a wonderful way to support children to flourish during lockdown.
“It’s very important for us that children continue to have agency and autonomy in these sessions, to invent and delight in their own and others’ rich imaginations. We can make each other laugh, and we can sing!
“We’re delighted that this wonderful family play project can still happen online and will be working with third sector colleagues to ensure digital inequality isn’t a barrier to families in the greatest need participating.”
The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland director, Neil Ritch, said: “In these uncertain times, our priority is to ensure that National Lottery money continues to flow to charities, voluntary sector organisations and grassroots groups. I would like to congratulate Licketyspit on their award, theirs is an important project and will support people now and in the future when they can physically come back together to make great things happen in their community.”
To take part in these free sessions, join the Licketyspit Children & Families Network (CFN) – an inclusive community of families who embrace children’s rights and imaginary play, at www.licketyspit.com/families/network and email or text Children & Families Network producer, Ruby Zajac, on firstname.lastname@example.org / 07413 800 342.
Notes for editors:
Licketyspit Theatre Company was founded in 2004 and is based at Community Central Hall in Maryhill, Glasgow.
Licketyspit’s Children & Families Network currently engages with 800 families in Glasgow and Edinburgh, most of whom experience socio-economic challenge.The network is an inclusive, multi-cultural community that fosters integration and children’s rights.
Licketyspit Playcard games are also used to support literacy, language and wellbeing in Licketyspit’s Storyplay Schools, where teacher’s report 100 per cent participating children showing improved confidence and emotional literacy and resilience and 90 per cent showing improved social skills and use and knowledge of language. The charity also plans to continue to support their Storyplay Schools addressing the attainment gap with online and printable story making resources, throughout lockdown.
Big Porridge & Play Glasgow has been a hugely popular community imaginary play and food project since 2017, delivered to 200 Glasgow families in Ruchill, Whiteinch and the Gorbals, who have made strong friendships with Licketyspit and with each other.
Licketyspit Children’s Guide to Coronavirus videos:
Licketyspit’s other online content including videos of Lickety Playcard Games for families to join in with are available on Licketyspit’s website
Ruby Zajac, creative producer, Children & Families Network
e: email@example.com / m: 07926 994 993
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