PARS 4 Parents- The World of Playwork Practice

On Monday 8th July 2019 Dr Shelly Newstead, the founder of PARS Playwork, Common Threads and the International Journal of Playwork Practice, led a workshop entitled ‘PARS 4 Parents’. It was designed to give parents an understanding of the PARS approach taken by staff at Smartkidz Play and Learn. What is an adventure playground? The…

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Play Opportunities you can Provide at Home

At Smartkidz Play and Learn, our staff are trained in PARS Playwork practice. Their role is to protect and facilitate the act of play with little adult interference. Playwork allows the opportunity for play that promotes imagination and creativity, builds resilience through risk taking, aids social skills, and improves physical and mental health. In practice,…

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Bubble Magic

This is a memorable story of connecting a mother`s love through the uniqueness of play and the nature of playwork and bubbles. The playwork approach is holistic and about expanding the individual child’s play experience and opportunities. On this particular day, I had fourteen children in my care, ranging from the ages of five to…

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5 Benefits of Outdoor Play

Outdoor play can be great fun, it allows children to explore their environment at full throttle. When you’re outside you can engage your whole body, shout at the top of your voice, run as fast as you can, fall over, roll around and get filthy. However, there is a reason why children seem to go…

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After School Clubs: 5 things you didn’t know

After school clubs are often overlooked and misunderstood. Many schools and families view them as a convenient necessity or as that extra bit tacked on to the end of a school day. However, they can much more than that. The staff at most after school clubs plan and prepare all year round to make that…

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Playwork and Pars: My Training

Tom Nethercott here, Deputy Playleader at Girton talking about my recent experience of the PARS course and how it has impacted my practice here within Smartkidz. Having previously been a practitioner in settings where activities were more adult led, the PARS course was something very different to me. However, over the 3-day course I was…

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Stinging Nettle Soup

During forest school today we looked at the most hated plant in your garden, the stinging nettle. When asked why do we have stinging nettles, the overruling answer was. “TO STING US!” However, according to www.nettles.org.uk the stinging nettle is a major part of our eco system, housing approximately 40 different species of insect from…

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How Does a Playworker Advocate for Play?

The number of 5 -19 year olds being diagnosed with one or more mental health condition was recorded as 1 out of 9 children in 2017. There has been a steady increase in this area since 2004 and this is mainly down to emotional disorders such as stress and anxiety. Its not hard to see…

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Summer Holiday Play Experiences Bingo + Summer Play-scheme

35 things to do outdoors this Summer: How many can you do? Smartkidz Summer Holiday Experiences Bingo With technology and electronic entertainment becoming more and more sophisticated children are finding new reasons to stay indoors. A recent study by the national trust found that children spend half the time playing outside that their parents did.…

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Easter Holiday- A time to reflect

The two weeks of Easter have seen changes in weather, from cold days to the first definite signs of summer.  With this comes bees and other insects, flourishing trees and plants and fast growing grass. This has naturally offered a wide range of new play opportunities and new experiences for the children. What were open…

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