Liscard Central Park in the Wirral has unveiled an exciting interactive play activity board to encourage little ones to develop speech, physical and social skills.
The activity board is supported by access to an app to enable all parents and carers to benefit from guidance around early language development.
Each activity board features the wonderful ‘Play Pack’ characters; Freddie Fox, Hana Hedgehog and Olly Owl, who share play ideas or ‘invitations’ with families to try in the park and ideas to carry on at home. They also include key information for the adults, sharing why each activity is important and how it helps their children to learn and develop.
‘Invitation to Play’, is a joint venture between Wirral Council’s Early Years Quality Improvement team and Hungry Little Minds, which aims to create resources in the community to prompt ‘learning through play’. The project will be delivered in three phases across the borough.
This is phase one with plans to roll out boards and activities across the Wirral via local parks. This has been developed in consultation with local families.
Cllr Wendy Clements, Chair of Wirral’s Children, Young People and Education Committee said:
“Since March 2020, children in Wirral have adapted in and out of lockdowns, with limited access to outdoor spaces, closed play parks and schools and early years settings operating at limited capacity.
“Now that we can get out and about in our communities more safely, we wanted to provide some prompts for games and activities for our young people to do with their families. The prompts will be play-based and encourage positive interactions, learning and independence. They are also placed in one of Wirral’s beautiful parks and therefore accessible to locals on the school run or when popping to the shops.”
Anne Parker, Local Director at Foundation Years Trust, said:
“We are proud to be supporting this project by donating a portion of the Hungry Little Minds funding for Wirral. This is a great fit with the campaign because it’s about providing opportunities for children and their parents’ to play and interact together.
“This is how parents can support the building of their child’s brain and ensure they have the skills they will need for life.
“While the last year or so has seen much disruption to our children’s every day lives, we want our young people to have the opportunity to repeat these experiences and practice their skills, to strengthen these pathways and connections.
“This project is an opportunity for little ones to build skills and gain confidence, in a pressure-free environment, while enjoying some fresh air too!”
Part funded by Children’s Centre advisory boards across Wirral and Hungry Little Minds, this collaborative, community-based project pledges to inspire families and boost child development.
The project is aimed at younger children but is also suitable for the whole family.
Dr Mukharjee, Chair of Wallasey Advisory board, said:
“As we move closer to ‘normality’ after lockdown, it’s crucial that we encourage young people in Wirral to get back out there playing creatively.
“Families will get ideas on how to use everyday opportunities, like going to the shops and playing make-believe games, as part of an effort to improve the early literacy and language skills in the years before children start school.
“At this stage of the project we are encouraging parents and children to communicate, have fun and build on positive relationships through playing and exploring.”
Beginning August 2021, plans for the next phase include involving families in development by encouraging them to share their ideas and feedback. This will help to inform future locations and content of the activity boards.
You can visit the boards, meet the Play Pack and discover new ways to play in Liscard Central Park.