Torbay families have reconnected with nature through adventurous Playful Parenting workshops.
Feedback from the workshops shows that parents taking part, mainly from Foxhole and Queen Elizabeth Drive estates, said they felt an increased sense of belonging to their neighbourhood and have been spurred on to have more outdoor adventures in the future.
The success of the project means that Play Torbay is now looking at working with partners to create a sustainable nature trail around the Queen Elizabeth Drive area.
The sessions included making camp fire pitta pizzas and stew, flower and leaf printing, creating mini homes for gnomes and learning about plants that are used in medicines and food.
Play diaries completed as part of the sessions revealed that parents felt more confident and energised with fun ideas on what to do with their children. One mother commented that she now had “no barriers” to getting outside with her child while many others welcomed being given useful ideas on what activities to do with the family.
The move to promote outdoor play follows a government report last year stating that more than one in nine children had not set foot in a park, forest or other natural environment for at least a year, prompting calls to help children connect more with nature.
Lynne Roberts, Sanctuary Housing’s neighbourhood partnerships manager for Torbay, said: “It’s wonderful to hear how passionate residents have become about the outdoors after gaining the skills to venture outdoors with their family and lead more healthy and active lives.
“Learning about the value of outdoor play is an essential part of children’s development and wellbeing and it was encouraging to hear comments from parents about how much their children now love exploring around outside.”
Tara Acton from Play Torbay added: “We are delighted that these sessions have been successful as the aim was to encourage parents to get their children exploring the natural world through nature play and to make further trips more inviting and exciting.”
The project was part-funded by Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund, supporting projects which benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.