Leeds family activities to enjoy this week during city's #LovetoPlay2021 celebration

A new website packed with fun ideas for families has gone live as an award-winning Leeds social enterprise prepares to lead a programme of events celebrating play.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 6:00 am

Love to Play 2021 is being led by community interest company Playful Anywhere, which aims to encourage creativity, inventiveness and playfulness wherever people work, live and travel.

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Working in partnership with Leeds City Council, it is leading a series of events between April 10 and 17 that will create opportunities for children and families to unleash their imaginations.

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Playful Anywhere teamed up with LS14 Trust, Fall Into Place and Seagulls Paint to distribute mini playboxes during the first lockdown. Picture: @EmmaMBearman

People of all ages are also being invited to make a #LoveToPlay2021 pledge on social media to help share the message far beyond the city's boundaries.

Emma Bearman, the company's chief of play, said: "I want people to dust off an awful year and spring forth with a pledge to be more playful – starting now. It could be crafting with clay, doing keepy uppies with an orange, chalk drawing, pretending you’re Spiderman on your morning run, finding a sticky stick and making your mark, or dancing to Lizzo in the kitchen.

"The journey of life is hard enough right now, let alone if we all avoid the primal pleasures of being playful. Children need fresh air and freedom, to play with friends and so do

adults, so it’s important that we still look for new and inventive ways to do that safely.

"I’m giving people permission to take a detour, hug a tree, toot some tunes, be daft, impish and have fun. Pledge to #LoveToPlay2021 and involve at least three others and spread the word safely across the city. Like a playful game of tig – you are it!”

The Love to Play website – www.lovetoplay.fun/ – features events being run in conjunction with the council as well as helpful resources to get people playing.

Those events include an online Space Disco, a den building competition, a story detective challenge, a virtual animal art class and remote robot racing.

Coun Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children and families, said: "We’re very proud to be supporting such an imaginative new initiative that will capture the

imaginations of children, families and adults across Leeds and beyond encouraging them to be creative and playful during what has been an incredibly difficult time.

"Play is such a simple thing to do, but one which we know can make a profound difference to the health and wellbeing of people of all ages as well as making everyday life that bit happier, better and brighter.

"I would encourage everyone to make their own pledge in whatever way they can and join in a city-wide effort to make Leeds a more playful place."

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