No lie-ins for Devon parents this Sunday, say children
More than half of parents in the South West (64 per cent) are planning to stay in bed for the extra hour they gain when the clocks go back at the weekend, Action for Children has discovered.
Unfortunately for them, more than half (52 per cent) of children in the South West have other ideas and are planning to spend the extra hour having fun.
Now Action for Children is encouraging adults to use the extra hour with the children in their life and say no to being boring by launching National Children’s Hour, a new campaign to build memorable childhoods for all.
Children in Devon celebrated National Children’s Hour at Action for Children’s Crediton Children’s Centre by getting involved in messy play with their parents.
Sarah Clarke, family support practitioner at Crediton Children’s Centre said: “Our young parents group at Crediton Children’s Centre wanted to celebrate National Children’s Hour by encouraging messy play – trying out various materials to engage parents and their children in a creative environment, as well as providing sensory opportunities.
“We hold fortnightly messy play sessions at the children’s centre where we use play dough and do activities such as potato printing. We also have art sessions planned, based on the changing seasons. On alternate weeks parents run the sessions, empowering them to share experiences and support each other.”
Leading children’s author Julia Donaldson, who supports the initiative, said: “When I was a little girl I used to ‘Listen With Mother’ every day to a radio programme with that name.
“Another early memory is of being joggled about on an auntie’s knee and joining in her chant about how the farmers/children/ladies/gentlemen rode, building up from a sedate walk to a wild gallop.”
For 145 years the charity has been listening to the needs of children in the UK and it wants to be able to reach out to every child as research shows that listening to children will increase their levels of self-esteem and they are more willing to ask for help, learn from their mistakes and share their worries.
Brigitte Gater, director of children’s services at Action for Children, said: “We are asking everyone to make the most of the extra hour – National Children’s Hour is a celebration of everything that is great about childhood and aims to help every child grow into a happy adult. All you need to do is ask children what they want to do with their time and embrace their lovely, and probably quite amusing, ideas.
“Use the extra hour to bring a book to life, make magic milk that looks like a potion or build a spaceship out of junk. Just have fun. That’s the stuff that childhood memories are made of.”
Action for Children is offering a free-to-download activity pack with fun ideas from some of the 300,000 children and young people it supports and one from Julia Donaldson’s new book – The Further Adventures of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat. Go to actionforchildren.org.uk/nch to download the pack or join in the conversation on social media by searching for #NCH.
(from a press release)