College Green was buzzing with excited children as Bristol Playday returned for 2018 for the biggest free play event of the Summer. The event, sponsored by the Childrens Scrapstore in St Werburghs, was promoting the launch of the new Bristol Children’s Charter.

My sceptical son went from “Why do I have to go to the craft ‘thing’?” to “Why do we have to leave? Can’t we stay til it closes?”.

– and yes, it was closing time when we left. So, what kept him occupied all afternoon?

What was on offer? Den building, sensory play, sports, games, a family hang-out den, make your own crafts, seeing a real police crime scene investigation van, explore a working ambulance, dressing up with the Avon Fire Service, ice cream van, and the opportunity to play freely with kids from all over Bristol, coming together as one big community.

The event was cordoned and fenced off for safety, with wardens at the door monitoring and holding back any children leaving without their adult. This took away a lot of safety fears as no child was allowed to leave without their adult and wristbands matched the children to their guardians.

My two loved making dens, hunting out materials and working and re-working their design. It gave them the opportunity to work together (something rare for them these days) and also to work with other children, making new friends as they did.

Goodie bags were being distributed for a donation to the Scrapstore, with crafters on hand to help the children make new and exciting art & crafts while they were there or giving instructions and tips for them to create at home.

Imaan and Bini loved testing the handcuffs and funding out what the police officers spend their time doing. The officers were so kind and patient with all of the children’s questions, it really made all the kids feel at ease and really inspired them.

Art on the green

Imaan & Bini getting involved with dress-up

Art on the green

Imaan finding that navigating the sleeves was harder than it looked

Art on the green

Imaan’s spider art

All in all the children had a great afternoon and I was glad to get them away from the TV screen! Bini went from resistance to complete acceptance, with his final words as we left “Can we come back again tomorrow?” Sadly not tomorrow, but there are plenty of events going on over the summer holiday and throughout the year.

See website here for full events list.