Wednesday 14 August 2013

Playday 2013 in Bristol

When I was a kid, we just played.  As soon as you were old enough to be trusted to cross the road properly you could roam free-range all day, coming home whenever you got hungry (or when it got dark).  Those days are long gone it seems, and now lots of children don't get much opportunity to play outdoors.  With this in mind, Playday, the national day of play for children and young people was set up to encourage and promote play.  Best of is free!

This year Playday was the 7th of August--it is always held on the first Wednesday of August--so we drove into the city centre and strolled up to College Green.  Along the way we passed a Gromit, some gorgeous street art and a handsome statue or two.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love Bristol?

Neptune the statue, Neptune the street art, Gromitasaurus
There are activities galore at Playday.  You can ride a wacky bicycle made of jumbled up bike parts, go canoeing in the water feature at the front of the Council House, bounce to your hearts content on a trampoline or bouncy castle, go for a swing in a net hammock, hula hoop, practice circus skills, make kites, get a henna tattoo, graffiti the giant Playday letters, dance, sing/dance/act in Bristol's Got Talent, play table tennis, play in a green den, make music in the Musical Junk Maze... I feel out of breath writing that list and I've probably forgotten loads!

PLAY, decorated with graffiti by children
Since it was a day dedicated to kids, I let Lucas lead the way and do whatever he wanted to do.  Except canoeing. I put my foot down over that!  I could see me ending up standing in the water feature, lily pad perched on my head...

Lucas drew Brunel's Suspension Bridge (if you squint)
Lucas really wanted to try graffiti with a can of spray paint, but he was too young, so was relegated to paint pens instead.  You were supposed to draw "things you love about Bristol", so he drew the Suspension Bridge in the biggest space he could find left on the 'A''.

Cute spray paint graffiti from the bigger kids
After that Lucas dragged me off to find the dens.  Last year you could build your own green den from branches, ferns, grass, hay and so forth, but this year there was just one huge den that kids could crawl into and explore.  (Probably something to do with Health and Safety, I'd imagine.)

Then music drew us over to the centre of the green.  The DJ was fantastic this year and really got the kids dancing and bouncing around the stage which created a brilliant atmosphere.  And when he played Gangnam Style there was an explosion of kids doing all the moves around me!  Lucas was already hula-hooping away, so decided to combine the two.  My side still ache from laughing (or is that the bronchitis?)

Gangnam Style while hula hooping
After that Lucas spotted the circus skills area and we spent over 30 minutes wobbling around on a weird bike that was like a squashed unicycle and various sorts of stilts.  There are circus skill classes every summer in Bristol and I'm wondering if Lucas would like to go when he's older.  He loved it!

Rather wobbly
There was also time for some fun on a big bouncy castle.

We topped off the day with froyo at Angelberry and headed home, tired but happy!  Roll on Playday 2014!

Lucas's multi-flavour masterpiece!


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