Inspiring Play, Sept 2012
Post on 22-Mar-2016
DESCRIPTIONInspiring Play newsletter is for anyone who works or has an interest in the play of children and young people age 0-19 years in Oxfordshire, UK
Inside Inside Inside Play News & Updates
Play Conference details
Fun Optical Illusions
Info for Playworkers
PlayThen and Now
Baby Signing Fun
newsletter is produced by Oxfordshire Play Association on behalf of the Oxfordshire Play Partnership (OPP), a group
of organisations whose aim is to increase the amount and quality of play opportunities for children and young people aged 0-19 years across Oxfordshire. OPP creates and updates the Oxfordshire Play Strategy this and lots of other OPP info is available on Oxfordshire Play Associations website www.oxonplay.org.uk see under Play Resources.
For further information about OPP, Inspiring Play or any other aspect of play and playwork,
contact Oxfordshire Play Association: Tel: 01865 779474; email: email@example.com;
Childrens Play & Leisure Promoting a Balanced Approach
A Statement from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
The HSE have issued an update which includes the following key messages:
a) Recognising the benefits of play: play is great for childrens wellbeing and development.
When planning and providing play opportunities, the goal is not to eliminate risk, but to weigh
up the risks and benefits. No child will learn about risk if they are wrapped in cotton wool.
b) What parents and society should expect from play providers: those providing play
opportunities should focus on controlling the real risks, while securing or increasing the
benefits, not on the paperwork.
c) If things go wrong: accidents and mistakes happen during play, but fear of litigation and
prosecution has been blown out of proportion.
More here: www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/childrens-play-july-2012.pdf
OXFORDSHIRE PLAY STRATEGY
Oxfordshire Play Partnership is updating the
action plan of the Oxfordshire Play Strategy.
If you would like a copy of the strategy and
action plan, it is available on the OPA
website (details at bottom of page).
NewOPA PLAY BOXES The updated OPA Play Box catalogue is now available on the OPA website. There are
new themes to the Play Boxes, which link directly into the
themes of the revised EYFS. The Play Boxes are suitable for all
ages, with activities covering Air, Water, Fire, Sporty Games,
Imaginative Play, Wheely Play, Creative and Sensory Play.
Cost: from 10 To book, contact Jane Gallagher at OPA:
01865 779474 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 16th March 2013
at Oxford Brookes University
Wheatley Campus (just off ring road)
Wheatley, Oxford OX33 1HX
Lots of free parking & regular public transport
For everyone who works in play or has an interest in play for
children and young people age 0-19 years in Oxfordshire.
Cath Prisk (Play England)
A choice of 8
Who should attend?
Sports & Leisure Clubs
Improving lives through play
Conference Programme 09.30 - 10.00 Registration, refreshments and stalls
10.00 Welcome: Martin Gillett, Oxfordshire Play Association
10.10 Keynote Speaker: Vicky Hatch, OCC Childrens Centres
10.30 Coffee break & Move to workshops
10.50 Morning workshops
12.00 LUNCH and stalls
1.00 Welcome back with Playful Activity
1.15 Keynote Speaker: Cath Prisk, Director, Play England
1.40 Move to workshops
1.50 Afternoon workshops
3.00 Whole conference activity, Prize Draw, Goodie Bags and closing remarks
Other useful info:
The same workshops will run in the morning and the afternoon.
Places on the workshops are limited, and will be allocated on a first come,
first served basis. We will endeavour to ensure that everyone receives their
1st and 2nd choices, but will allocate 3rd choices if workshops are full.
Some of the workshops are practical, and the Fire Play workshop will take
place outsideplease dress accordingly!
Refreshments and buffet lunch are include in the (highly subsidised) price.
Stalls will be available for information and purchases.
Places can be cancelled up to 10 days before the conference date, otherwise
the full amount is payable. Places can be swapped to a different person at any timeplease try
to swap instead of cancelling.
Photographs and video footage may be taken for use by Oxfordshire Play Partnership for
promotional materials. Please contact us if you do NOT consent to this.
More conference information, directions and a map are available on the OPA website at
Contact OPA (Oxfordshire Play Association) for more details and information about the
conference: 01865 779474 or email: email@example.com.
Improving lives through play
Saturday 16th March, 9.30am-3.30pm at Oxford Brookes University (Wheatley Campus)
Booking Form Please complete one form per person (feel free to photocopy it).
Workshop Choices You will be attending two workshops. The same workshops will run in the morning and afternoon. Please indicate your 1st and 2nd choices in the boxes below. Please indicate a 3rd choice in case
either of those is full.
Payment: (please tick one)
Payment method: (please tick one)
Please return the completed booking form by email or by post to Jane Gallagher at Oxfordshire Play Association:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Oxfordshire Play Association, Temple Cowley URC,
Oxford Road, Temple Cowley, Oxford OX4 2ES. (Tel: 01865 779474)
Place of work +
Work address + Postcode
Any specific access requirements
Any specific dietary requirements
Fire Play An exciting practical workshop learning
about fire skills.
Resolving Issues A new approach to supporting children and
young people to resolve issues.
Playful Schools Ideas for how to make your school more
The Business of Play Exploring practical ways to run a successful
Playing for Cheap Wonderful play ideas using recycled and
Play for Health & Wellbeing Fun ways to enable children to be active,
engaged and to take risks.
Encouraging Playful Families Exploring ways to encourage families to
have more playful times.
Creating a Rich Play Environment Ideas to make any space more playful using a
variety of loose parts.
10 (early bird discount, only for bookings received by 31st December 2012)
15 (for bookings received after 1st January 2013)
50 (for anyone who works outside of Oxfordshire)
Cheque (made payable to: Oxfordshire Play Association)
Bank transfer to OPA (Account no: 00009290; Sort Code: 40-52-40)
Invoice please invoice my place of work address as above
Improving lives through play
Even in 1903 we bemoaned the fact that children were playing less...
"Children are forgetting how to play. To realise this, one
has only to watch the pupils in recreation time with their
disappointed amusements, their unrelated racings and
shoutings, their perfunctory attempts at leapfrog...but the
village pastimes which were organised for children...are
fast becoming obsolete. This is doubtless an inevitable
result of modern developments
Article from Leisure Hour, 1903, quoted in The Lore of the Playground by Steve Roud
Childrens Roaming Map
You may have seen this map, which accompanied a Daily Mail article entitled How children lost the right to roam in four generations.
It outlines how much freedom to roam each of 4 successive generations had at the age of 8:
Eds great-grandfather was allowed to walk 6 miles by himself to go fishing.
Eds grandfather was allowed to walk one mile to the woods.
Eds mother was allowed to walk half a mile to the swimming pool.
Ed is only allowed to walk to the end of his street (less than 300 metres).
The current training OPA offers includes: Take 5 for Play: a 15 hour tutor-led course with 10 hours of practice in playwork settings. This is an accredited course and is ideal for those who are new to playwork. QCF Level 2 in Playwork: a work-based and classroom-based qualification. There are short workshops once a month to support the learner in all the underpinning knowledge areas. An assessor will visit you every 4-6 weeks to assess your practical work. QCF Level 3 in Playwork: a work-based and classroom-based qualification. There are short workshops once a month to support the learner in all the underpinning knowledge areas. An assessor will visit you every 4-6 weeks to assess your practical work. QCF Level 3 Transitional Award from Early Years to Playwork: a level 3 qualification that is suitable for those already holding a level 3 qualification in Early Years or Childcare.
80% of all of the above courses are currently funded by Oxfordshire County Council until March 2013so sign up soon to receive this great offer.
Many congratulations to the following learners who were successful in achieving their Level 3 Transitional Award in June of 2012!
Short Courses: OPA also offer short courses (normally 2 hours) in play to childminders, children centres, out of school providers, school staff, early intervention hubs, leisure centres, community associations and other groups throughout Oxfordshire. Short courses include:
We are constantly developing our training around local and national developments in the field of play. We are happy to adapt current courses and
design new ones to meet specific requirements that you may have.
If you would like more information on any of our courses please contact Brid: 01865 779474 or email: email@example.com or visit OPAs website
Susanna Auger, Ann Dunsdon, Sian Harris, Charlotte Howes, Andrea Law, Alicia McCauley, Karen Parsloe, Shauna Simister,
Suzanne Smith, Samantha Surrage, Diane Wilson & Maria Reader.
From Brid Muldoon, OPA Training Officer
Something up your Sleeve, Whatever the Weather
Fun with Food
Arts & Crafts from a Big Red Box
Promoting Play at Playtime
Promoting Positive Behaviour
A Taste of Playwork
A Bit Risky but a Lot of Fun
Kitchen Chemistry & Magic Potions
Managing a Playwork Setting
The events were organised
by steering groups, each made up from a variety of
local organisations which
fundraised hard for each
event, including Oxfordshire
Play Association, district councils, county council,
parish councils, voluntary
organisations, and many
more, plus over 200 groups which ran the playful
Each event and all activities
were completely free, and
Oxfordshire can be proud of a great effort for PLAY.
More play events in 2013!
DIY face painting and hanging out
Doing back flips off Dad
Over 16,000 people attended the 12
Playday events which took place across Oxfordshire this spring and
summer. The events were part of
National Playday, which promotes the
value of play for physical health,
mental wellbeing, self-esteem, family bonding, community building...the list
of play benefits goes on!
Cardboard makes den cities and bionic arms
Do you work with children or young people? Is you setting truly inclusive? Here are the ten features that you would find in inclusive
1. Everyone is welcomed. 2. A commitment to change practice and attitudes and adopt a positive 'can-do' approach.
3. Children's play interest lead their play, and activities take into account their likes, dislikes and access support requirements.
4. Each child has a chance to express their views on the play sessions and the setting in their own way.
5. All staff have undertaken rights-based training around
disablism, equality and diversity. 6. The setting has a clear vision on what it wants to do and how they will achieve it.
7. Every parent feels welcomed and valued and encouraged to work in partnership with staff to ensure their child is genuinely included.
8. It is demonstrated through attitudes and behaviour how unremarkable it is that disabled children are part of the local community.
9. All staff are developing their skills to communicate effectively with each child, whilst encouraging children to develop ways of communicating with each other.
10. The manager is committed to the active participation and involvement of all children, parents, staff and other partners so that each child can be effectively included.
From KIDS (www.kids.org.uk).
To order your Including All of Us poster
for 1 per copy plus p&p,
You may have heard of baby signing: its the phenomenon of using
sign language, in conjunction with speech, to help pre-verbal children
communicate. Baby signing swept the UK some years ago from the US
and it is very much here to stay.
Dont be mislead by the term baby - using signing has benefits for
children of all ages and can be used very effectively in reducing tears
and tantrums up to around 5 years, when a child may be more able to
verbalise what they need.
Gesture is a normal part of communication development, and using sign language is a fun,
inclusive method of introducing concepts that may be beyond a young childs capacity to
verbalise. (There is a common fear that children who sign will not speak, but this is not the case
if signing is used correctly, in conjunction with speech).
Ultimately, signing will NOT cause your baby to have delayed speech. It will be one of the
best things you do to help prepare your baby for talking!
Christina Schabow, Speech and Language Pathologist
Not only can the use of signing help communication development, give children a head start,
help with confidence, reinforce learning and help children have a greater word bank it can also
be HUGE fun for everyone within a setting or family!
Children are kinaesthetic learners which means that they learn most effectively by being able to
do - games, interspersed with signing, are probably one of the simplest, most effective ways
of reinforcing language structure and word acquisition.
Getting started with signing is very simple and
straightforward as children tend to demonstrate a
natural curiosity and interest in learning sign language,
becoming active participants in learning.
"Research shows when signing is added to the (pre-
school) curriculum, children not only find signing fun
but also show a significant improvement in receptive
English vocabulary and retain information for a longer
period of time."
Daniels, M (2001): Dancing with Words Signing for
hearing childrens literacy
George signing ball
Baby Signing: Fun for Everyone!
By Shelley Ensor, Little Signers Club
Just adding in a few signs to everyday games at a setting or home can encourage children to learn
new words and develop their motor skills. Settings have a range of ages and
families get bigger; older children ADORE showing their signing skills to younger children and often
become the person who signs the most with a new arrival.
Signing fun to try...
1. Animal Sign and Sound
One person makes the sign for an animal and the others provide the sound effects. Practice
at home and then have fun in a more public place as no one will know why you are making
elephant noises at the top of your voice!
2. A Signing Hunt
Try a signing hunt around the room or garden, with signs along a topic. For instance,
colours. One person signs a colour and everyone else needs to go and find things of that
colour. You can adapt this game easily for any topic that you may like to cover - a mini
beast hunt, a clothing hunt, an outdoor or indoor treasure hunt - the list is endless!
3. Secret Sign Codes
Make up some secret signing codes that you use only in your setting or family. Examples
might be signing 'I Love You' or making up signing names for each other.
Signing can be great fun with all ages in a setting or family and has the added benefit of reducing
frustration very effectively. Speech, Language and Communication (SLaC) are now at the heart of
the new EYFS and, as 90% of tantrums are said to be caused by a childs need to eat, drink, sleep,
receive comfort or help, you can see how implementing a few signs, through play or as part of a
routine, has the ability to transform childcare immeasurably, as well as meet new SLaC targets.
Join our Continuing Professional Development Training Programme (CPDT). Our courses are
aimed at anyone working with children under 5 years, particularly focussing on Signing and
Communication Development as well as strategies that help develop communication interactions.
Oxfordshire CPDT is taking place on Saturday
17th November 2012 in Thame. Please email
firstname.lastname@example.org for an information
pack and booking form.
Get your FREE baby signing e-book!
Signing Hands: Get Ready to Sign contains
great tips and first signs for you to start using
with babies, toddlers or pre-schoolers. go to:
Website: www.littlesignersclub.co.uk Ayla signing all gone
IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE
WELL BE MAKING DENS !
Den Building Day with Childminders and the
Community Childcare & Play team in Stoke Lyne
Woods, Bicester, August 2012
Part of Oxfordshire County Councils Community Childcare and Play
Officers role is to support childminders, and that includes promoting and improving quality and encouraging rich play experiences. One of
our more popular activities is den-making, and we decided to invite
childminders from the North Oxfordshire area to join us in Stoke Lyne
Woods near Bicester to have a go at building dens outdoors in a natural
We found a perfect clearing and, equipped with several sets of canes to
build cane dens, and large quantities of material, such as old curtains,
netting and blankets, we were joined by 12 childminders, a dad, a granddad, a mum and 50 children aged from 9 months to 12 years.
Using fire with children is often avoided, but we showed that as long as you are well-prepared. this can be an enriching experience for children
of all ages. Using a small kettle BBQ, the children had the opportunity
One childminder brought some
cardboard boxes for the children to use in the construction of their den they
also made a great carpet (and an
extra room for teddies!see insert)
Getting outside and letting
the children use their own
ideas in a safe environment
gave them lots of freedom
and a chance to try different
to have a go at toasting
marshmallows. As you can see from the photo
below, they loved it,
listening very carefully to
our instructions and all were
happy to wait their turn. The majority came back to
have several goes all very
Having seen how easy it can
b e , w e h o p e t h e
childminders will have the
confidence to try this
themselves even in their back gardens.
The children particularly
enjoyed the marshmallows
on the fire. I thought the
event was very well-
o rgan i sed and the
childrens needs had been
We took great care to only use the branches that were already broken
and we left the area as we found it, taking our rubbish with us. The day was a great success and we hope everyone went away with new,
imaginative play ideas that in the most part were free, and also the
confidence to have a go at activities that include fire. From the very
positive feedback we have had, we are sure there will be some very
happy memories of what was a very magical day in the woods.
outdoors in the fresh
air. Outdoor things
are always popular.
It was a lovely little wood
which was easily accessible
and had lots of natural
recourses which children could
How many legs does
this elephant have?
Just a cat? The horizontal lines are parallel!
A ghostly triangle
Appears to spin Impossible cube
Are square A and square B
the same colour or
Answer: The same. Impossible Lego
Spinning or not?
Revised EYFS This applies to all school-managed clubs and playschemes, as well as settings on the Ofsted Early Years Register. A revised EYFS took effect at the beginning of September. You need the following new documents, dated 2012: The 'Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage' 'Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage' 'Parents' Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage' You can find all these documents on the Foundation Years website, www.foundationyears.org.uk, or buy them from organisations such as the National Day Nurseries Association, www.ndna.org.uk or the National Childminding Association, www.ncma.org.uk. Remember that you can personalise the parents guide and make it available to parents/carers electronically or in leaflet form.
The Playworkers Network Meeting
The Oxford Community Childcare and Play team are hosting a free exciting training and networking session
Wednesday 17th October 6.308.30pm (food at 6.30pm)
at Barracks Lane Community Garden in Cowley. Were planning it all at the moment so more details soon but it will involve fun practical ideas, some tasty food and brilliant play activities for you to take back to your clubs. Hope to see you all!
Masako Sparrowhawk (Community Childcare & Play Team) Email: email@example.com
Revised EYFS Training Guides Morton Michel have updated their series of training guides for those working in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). Free to Morton Michel policy holders. Go to www.mortonmichel.com and put in your policy number. If you want a quote for Morton Michel insurancedont forget that OPA members receive reduced rates. Call them on 0845 2570 900.
Botley ASC wins 300 Botley School After School Club are the
proud winners of the 50 things every child should do before there are 11 3/4
challenge set by the Community Childcare & Play team (Central). Activities included climbing trees, lighting a fire without using
flint, created a beach and hunted for treasure. Well done to you all!
Safeguarding training - availability All courses are free and run through Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board. See www.oscb.gov.uk. Click on Training, then Booking for OSCB training courses and View our courses. Call 01865 815843 if you have difficulties with booking. 2 hour generalist safeguarding Weekday evenings, listed under Play Workers, Early Years and Childcare settings Generalist safeguarding: 8 October, Bicester 18 October, central Oxford 15 November, central Oxford 20 November, Witney 13 December, central Oxford 17 January, central Oxford Saturday mornings 6 October, central Oxford 8 December, central Oxford 9 February, central Oxford Weekday daytimes, listed under Generalist safeguarding: 3 October, Crowmarsh, near Wallingford 10 December, Crowmarsh, near Wallingford 12 December, central Oxford One-day specialist safeguarding Saturday, listed under Play Workers, Early Years and Childcare settings Specialist safeguarding: Watch the website for details of the next course! Weekdays, listed under Specialist safeguarding training 19 October, Banbury 15 November, Crowmarsh, near Wallingford 6 December, Witney 23 January, Banbury Note: its fine to attend the ones that arent described as being for Play Workers, Early Years and Childcare settings! The childcare ones are promoted in this way, because they run at times/days that are generally more convenient for those working with children.
Changes for Ofsted-registered settings Ofsted have published revised versions of several documents, and more are appearing regularly on the Ofsted website, www.ofsted.gov.uk. Entering reference numbers in the website search box should find them easily. Revised documents include: 'Ofsted's regulation and inspection of providers on the Early Years Register from September 2012: common questions and answers', ref 1202323. 'The numbers and ages of children that providers on the Early Years and Childcare Registers may care for', ref 080293. 'Are you ready for your inspection? A guide to inspections of provision on Ofsted's Early Years and Childcare Registers', ref 120085. 'Conducting early years inspections', ref 120087 and 'Evaluation schedule for inspections of registered early years provision', 120086 (these are guidance documents for inspectors).
The Birds and the BeesNature and Risky Play
By Jenny Creese, Project Manager for Connecting Naturally
spent bird-watching in the garden, conversations about what birds eat and how we can encourage more birds to come into the garden. We have also made bee houses for solitary bees, the children used small hacksaws and loppers to cut bamboo canes to small lengths then tied them together using cable tiesall asking continuous questions, from How will the bees use them? to What do bees eat? Both these activities encourage children to use real tools in a safe way, to build something that has a real purpose. Not only does it foster a sense of responsibility towards wildlife and nature, but also respect for tools and working safely!
Nature and play are perfect partners, and outdoor environments offer children (and adults) endless possibilities for exploration and discovery. Nature brings together many elements of play and learning. I have been working with Berinsfield Childrens Centre for the last 18 months as part of the Connecting
Naturally* project. The essence of the project is to work with families in their communities, finding things that are relevant and that interest them which, over time, leads to lasting connections with the outdoors and nature. The children, parents and staff at the centre have been keen to encourage more wildlife into the garden, so we set about making a bird box and bee houses over the summer. Both these play sessions offer children the opportunity to use tools and build something which will be a permanent feature at the centre. Following plans, the children measured, cut and nailed the bird house together. All the children were able to take part and the achievement at the end of the day
* The Connecting Naturally project is funded by
Natural England (through its Access to Nature
programme, part of the Big Lottery Fund's Changing
Spaces programme), the Patsy Wood Trust,
Oxfordshire County Council and the Earth Trust.
Based at the Earth Trust in Little Wittenham, (near
Didcot) and run in partnership with Oxfordshire
A Woman of Vision
By Natty Mark Samuels, CDI Youth Project, Blackbird Leys
If red and yellow result in orange; two plus two makes four then literature added to science equals Ellia Townsend. For the twin worlds of books and experiments are the fuel of her present force. They nourish and thrive off each other.
Having read seventy books since October, she is hoping to have read two hundred by the end of this yearfor enjoyment, vocabulary expansion and introductions to varied literary styles. She dreams of completing a novel by her eighteenth birthday in two years time. Ellia was the winner in a school creative writing competition, and her article about the artist Banksy was an outstanding highlight of a recent literary exhibition.
This prospective University student intends to emerge as a scientist, maybe specialising in forensics. To help decipher the dead-end mysteries.
As well as the lab, she spoke of the street. Of her community. Said there was an upsurge in hostility less positive interaction. That there needed to be more inter-generational links. Paramount of all: that young people needed to be listened to more.
I have no doubt that this visionary young woman will attain the heights she's climbing towards. A continuing credit to herself, as well as the community she resides in. Like the Kenyan Nobel Prize Winner, Wangari Maathai, who used science and vision to bring us closer to justice.
Inspiring Play is produced 4 times a year by Oxfordshire Play Association on behalf of the Oxfordshire Play Partnership.
Deadlines: March edition: 14th February June edition: 14th May
September edition: 7th September December edition: 14th November
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deadline deadline deadline deadline
Halloween jokes What do witches put on their hair?
- Scare Spray
What do fishermen say at Halloween? - Trick or trout?
What has webbed feet, feathers, fangs and says Quack quack? - Count Duckula
What is the favourite game at a ghosts party?
- Hide and shriek When do skeletons laugh?
- When you tickle their funny bones.