Lead by Jo from the Blue Elephant Theatre. Playing Up is about encouraging creative educational multi-sensory play for parents and children, through music, narration and movement.

11/11/13- Meeting with Morrisons

After many phone calls and discussions with both the manager and the community champion of Morrisions on Walworth Road, I finally met the staff involved and put faces to names. Our previous discussions had been centred on using a space for the workshop within Morrisons but unfortunately- a suitable space does not exist! However, Morrisons are really eager to support the project and have promised to provide food vouchers to be spent in store by all the parents that attend the workshops- what a lovely bonus!

19/11/13- Designing the workshop content

Today I meet with Sharon Golding from Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre. I saw the space that the workshop will be held in. We will be using a vacant shop. I immediately saw the challenges in that the space was very small and quite dirty- so rubber gloves and broom needed! This does mean that for this workshop, we cannot have too many parents with children, it seems like 5 would be a maximum.

Sharon and I also had an interesting discussion of ideas for how this project could develop to support safety issues that the Shopping Centre encounters. She suggested that a soft play area could be created for the centre. I then built up the idea of the time banking with stay and play. This would work as parents stayed and play with the children for a ‘workshop’ of about half an hour and then we take care of the children for free for a further 1.5 hours. So the parents pay for the service with their time. I need to ask parents their opinions tomorrow!

John and I met to devise content of the workshops for tomorrow- we focussed on developing all activities so they could be suitable for the home. So away went the wonderful professional instruments that John is used to, and out came the pots and pans!

20/11/13- Workshop Day

Workshop 1– 9 parents and 14 children

The workshop went very well, both children (aged 2-3) and parents really enjoyed it. We thought it might be a challenge to get parents to stay but with the teachers support, we managed to persuade people on the door and over half the parents stayed, which is a great success! We had lots of great feedback, and some really useful points for us to think about. This feedback has been written up as separate a document.

The teacher took lots of pics but they are for internal use only (not allowed on websites etc).

Worshop 2– 12 parents and 14 children

This workshop went very well with even more parents staying with their children (aged 2-3). The turnout was fantastic, given that there was a horrendous storm only 5 mins before the workshop started. The teacher was concerned that not many families would show but when they did we were quick to capitalise on the weather and provide warm dry shelter with some lovely drama and music included! Everyone enjoyed it and parents were asking when we are coming back… fingers crossed!

Playing Up BET 1_lr

Workshop 3– 2 parents and 2 babies

After one hour cleaning the shop and quickly eating some lunch at the same time, the workshop went very well! As the children were younger (aged 11-14 months) the content was kept more informal allowing the babies choose and guide what to do and ‘experts’ (the mums) then made up games around the babies choices, with advice and support from us the practitioners.


Thanks for reading,