Education News | Borough Families to Benefit from Summer of Play | Andover & VillagesA new-look Playday is to bring play to more of the borough in July and August as part of a whole Summer of Play programme.

Five community centres have been funded by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to deliver events highlighting the importance of play in children’s lives to tie in with the Playday national campaign.

Play is an essential part of every child’s life and it is vital for social, emotional, intellectual and physical development, as well as the enjoyment of childhood.

These new events, which have retained the same funding as the previous single Playday event, aim to establish a legacy of play by introducing families to community contacts, resources and activities which they can make use of all year round.

Events will take place in Popley Fields Community Centre on Tuesday 31 July

Fieldgate Community Centre in Kingsclere on Wednesday 1 August

Russell Howard Park (organised by Westside Community Centre) on Wednesday 1 August

Testborne Community School, Whitchurch on Thursday 2 August and Viables Community Centre on Thursday 2 August

Activities already planned for the Playday programme include messy play, bubble fun and art and craft sessions. Separate Playday events will also take place in other areas of the borough including Tadley.

The wider Summer of Play places an emphasis on the whole family getting involved. A range of fun sessions will take place throughout the school holidays at Westside Community Centre, Viables Community Centre, Testbourne Community School and Popley Fields Community Centre.

These sessions will sustain children’s learning and development during the school break and offer opportunities for whole families to interact and socialise. There will also be lots of provision for under fives and older children.

Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety Cllr Simon Bound said: “Play is so important for physical and emotional growth, for mental, intellectual and educational development, and to help children in gaining social and behavioural skills.

“These exciting new events will promote play, interaction and whole family involvement – everyone from babies and toddlers to teens, parents and grandparents will be able to participate.

“Those who attend will meet other members of their own communities and will learn about their local facilities and resources, in addition to finding out how play can be enjoyed in everyday life.”

For further details on what is being planned throughout the summer period and the family activities being delivered locally, please visit the council’s Children Young People and Families Team Facebook page @cypfteam.

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