A collaborative project with arts partners in Wandsworth to provide creative materials and activities to children aged 6–10 years old most in need during lockdown.
At a glance
- Creative materials and activities co-designed by artists and arts organisations from Wandsworth for young people aged 6–10 affected by the Covid pandemic.
- In February 2021, the Create & Learn PlayKits were recognised nationaly, winning the Hearts for the Arts Award for Best Arts Project.
- Building upon the success of the scheme and following consultation with headteachers, the consortium is looking to create a new PlayKit to support children’s creativity and wellbeing for a summer of creative play in 2021.
“This is a simple idea, beautifully executed. Putting affordable creativity into the hands of children allows them to set their own bar and not worry about clearing other people’s. At a time of great tension and sadness, projects like PlayKits remind children that they’re here and the marks they make matter.”Actor, Director, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts
Aims of the project
The Create & Learn PlayKits began in response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of schools in Spring 2020. A group of arts and cultural organisations from across the borough of Wandsworth came together to discuss how we could support and inspire young people and their families to get creative during lockdown, especially those impacted by digital poverty.
Together we worked with schools and Wandsworth Council to ensure those most in need had access to practical and creative materials like scissors, glue and crayons during school closures. The PlayKits contain a range of creative resources and activities designed by local artists for families with children aged six-to-ten years old. MA Animation alumnus Dan Castro and MA Visual Communication alumna Hannah Coulson contributed to the first two kits with creative activities.
So far we have distributed over 6,000 creative activity kits to 46 Primary Schools and 16 community groups / summer schemes. Building on the success of the first two kits, the group is currently scoping plans for a third iteration to be distributed to children before the school summer holidays in 2021.
“Direct, impactful creativity delivered straight to the young minds who will have charge of our culture in the future. The view that this was done with an eye on digital poverty is a massive bonus. This kind of project isn’t a one off experience or tied to a certain location.”Actor and director
“A wonderful example of a community responding to specific need and bringing art and creativity into the homes and lives of the children involved. Particularly important during the lockdown to facilitate access to self expression. A really heartwarming and simple example of what a big impact small targeted local initiative can achieve.”Journalist and broadcaster
“A wonderful project to address the needs of children and their families during lockdown. It’s great also that the play kits attracted local sponsorship, linking with food banks, schools and community groups, and that so many partners gave their time in-kind to make it happen.”Cultural Development Manager, Hackney Council