Play

Play is a critical part of any child’s development, yet it is sometimes easy to overlook its importance. Life today is often very busy, and it can be hard to find safe opportunities where children have the freedom, space or time that they need for play.

Our role is to help overcome these challenges so that children can have opportunities for child-centred play – and so develop social skills, build relationships, progress as individuals and keep healthy at the same time.

Play is so important that the United Nations has included the right to play in its Convention on the Rights of the Child. This states that we must “recognise the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities”.

We believe in this too. We do all that we can to champion the rights for all children to play openly and freely in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas and to provide practical solutions to make this happen.

Open access play

‘Open access’ play is play where children can choose what they want to play and who they play with – children direct their own play, and there is no external goal or reward. The reason it is called open access is because no child is turned away (although we do recommend that any child who is younger than 8 is accompanied by a responsible adult).
The sessions we provide take place in many different outdoor settings, including playgrounds, parks and playing fields.

We have a core team of seasonal play workers who coordinate and manage our open access play sessions. Our whole team have an understanding of the play principles and are either qualified in play work or are working towards a play work qualification.

DOWNLOAD THE OPEN ACCESS PLAY OPPORTUNITIES GUIDE

Scrapshacks

We love to see children enjoying themselves and having fun at school playtime. That’s why we developed ‘Scrapshacks. These bespoke containers are filled with recycled or up-cycled materials and outdoor play equipment. Children can just help themselves to whatever they want, and be as creative as they like at playtime. Schools put Scrapshacks in their grounds and we fill them with new resources every term.

Play@playtime

Having a good play experience at lunchtime leads to a more positive afternoon of learning for a child, and happier lunchtime staff! We work with local schools to help improve playtimes for children. For example we assess and improve the physical environment of the playground and the options for wet-play, and provide training to lunchtime supervisors.

We have a whole host of other ideas about how to make sure that children have a great time at playtime and are well refreshed, ready for the next learning session.

Hire equipment

Would you like to hire xxx or xxx for your fundraising event, such as a fete or school fair? Or perhaps you’d like a large focal point for play at a private children’s party?

We have a wide variety of equipment that’s available to hire. Access to this equipment is one of the many benefits of membership of MKPA.

The Play Services Team at Milton Keynes Play Association deliver a wide range of play related services, and can be broadly broken into three areas:

Direct delivery of PLAY

for example school holiday Open Access Play Sessions, term-time Play Ranger sessions in various locations from small tight-knit areas of space to larger recreation grounds and green spaces and Woodland Play sessions.

for example school holiday Open Access Play Sessions, term-time Play Ranger sessions in various locations from small tight-knit areas of space to larger recreation grounds and green spaces and Woodland Play sessions.

Support for deliverers of PLAY

Breakfast Clubs, After School Clubs, Holiday Play Schemes and schools looking to improve their lunchtime provision with activities, resources or staff development.
We offer support and guidance, help with inclusive practice, on the job or informal training, equipment provision, skill share workshops, staff cover and support for voluntary committees.

Partnership working – you name it, we do it!

Leading and supporting a variety of events that include any form of play provision for children and young people. This can be with staffed activities, loan of equipment/resources, advice on funding or assistance with ideas and promotion. Team building activities for corporate groups and activities for away days can also be facilitated at our base or elsewhere.

We also regularly work at conferences and seminars around the country offering workshops and development opportunities for other industry professionals of all levels and experience.

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