This project was inspired by a question asked by my ten-year-old: “Why does nobody come out to play after school?”. Yes, indeed. Why? Maybe with some initiatives and good organizations, we could get our neighbourhood children to come out for some fun and games together! Neighbourhood Small Grants made the plan come true.
Since the project is to encourage children to go outdoors and do some physical activities, I found it important to hear opinions from the children. After gathering input from different children and with the help of my son, a clear plan emerged. We designed games that not only involved physical play but also required children to work together strategically. With the grant, we were able to get the supplies needed for the games. My son and I built barricades and obstacles for the games.
Taking advantage of the sunny days in the summer, we organized four outdoor play sessions at the open field of Garret Neighbourhood Park. Promoted on Facebook Richmond Community Page, we had eight to fifteen children come out each session. A safety prep talk was given before the start of each session to ensure everyone stayed safe and that everyone could have fun. Group strategic games were played with different props, such as water blasters and Nerf blasters. Traditional games like ‘hide and seek’ and ‘capture the flag’ were renewed with a new twist. New games were introduced, and children invented their own on the spot as well. There were times children did not want to leave, and so stayed till evening to play laser tag. It was beautiful for the parents to see how their children got together to plan and work together for a common goal.
The project of our outdoor games play was a big success. In fact, both the parents and children wanted more play! This project would not have happened without the support of our Neighbourhood Small Grants. We hope to continue to carry out more play for the children in our community.