INSPIRED children of Bulwell Community Toy Library have come up with fun-filled tools designed to encourage families to get out into the great outdoors and explore local woodland.
Youngsters have worked with artists Sian Watson and Gillian Brent at the Nottingham Contemporary gallery to create the resources, which focus on the under-used Bulwell Hall Park.
They include a storybook based on families’ experiences of playing in the woods, together with hands-on play activities for children of different ages and creative maps designed by children to give other young people a ‘child’s eye view’ of the woods.
The maps include children’s favourite trees, great spots for hide and seek and lots of ideas for making up your own stories.
The children are part of the toy library’s nature-inspired outdoor play project ‘Play On The Wildside’. They are are familiar with playing in the woods at Bulwell Hall Park and wanted to share this experience with other families.
Children involved in the project and their families were guests of honour for a launch of the initiative at the Nottingham Contemporary in the city centre.
The project has also inspired a new ‘Play And Learn Trail’ at the Contemporary, which will help youngsters to explore the gallery’s exhibitions in a fun, inspiring way. The trail will feature the toy library’s logo and the wording ‘inspired by work done with children from Bulwell Community Toy Library’.
During the launch, a slideshow of photographs was shown, capturing the youngsters and artists in action was shown.
Steve Parkinson, project manager at the toy library on Norwich Gardens, explained how the idea for the Bulwell Hall Park resources came about.
“Through talking to local people, we found that many families weren’t using Bulwell Hall Park, even though it’s a great outdoor space for play, including an ancient woodland and a nature reserve,” he said.
“The reason for this was because families didn’t know what the park offered or what they could do there. We’re hoping that our free resources will help families to explore and have fun in the park while introducing them to the amazing benefits of outdoor play.”
The creative maps and storybooks are now available to borrow from the toy library.
OUR PHOTO shows one of the youngsters enjoying the delights of Bulwell Hall Park.