Before lockdown Care for Education was asked to assist Ikhayalami and The Play Coalition in providing training for Play Champions that would be working towards creating safe play spaces in their communities in Khayelitsha.
Some participants were especially enthusiastic when it came to playing active physical games and were very ready to embrace new ideas.
Others preferred the calmer creative activities but everyone was especially interested when being given ideas about how to engage and organize groups of children without having to use traditional methods of discipline.
Participants learnt to use manipulatives such as DUPLO as well as waste materials like cardboard, plastic bags, lids... to promote learning through play. For many it was the first time they had been exposed to LEGO and they were very proud of their creations.
After two days Play Champions were looking forward to engaging with children during the planned Co-Creation Play day.
On returning to reflect on the Play Day participants were all very positive and eager to play more themselves. Comments included :
"Although it was hard work the day was fun and it was good to see the children laughing, smiling & playing safely."
"A great day. Most successful fantastic event. Enjoyed playing with the children & learnt a lot even though it was so hot. Learnt skills to deal with children pushing & fighting without shouting and threatening them with a stick."
"Everyone was actively involved and multitasking, especially when it became a bit chaotic. Some leaders started playing games and dancing with groups of children to distract them from the other groups."
"I never thought I would enjoy playing with children. At the beginning of the first day I said I found my own child annoying but now I realised how much fun I can have with children. I am not going to rest now as my children also saw how much fun we can have playing together."