Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors

July 19, 2014

Finding Play Space In The City

A friend of mine is involved with an amazing community-based project called ‘Friends of Pentre Gardens’.

It’s a brilliant project that was set up to promote local green park space for the community of Grangetown, in Cardiff. Its’ aim is to keep the area safe, clean and user-friendly, and to deliver a fantastic outdoor playscheme which promotes free-play for the children who live in the community. The initiative also works together, (with the help of the Parks Department), to improve and maintain the park, by planting flowers and maintaining the trees and bushes, as well as to generally promote the area for the enjoyment of the local community.

It’s a wonderful project, as it gets children to play outside safely in spite of living in an urban area.

Recently, I took part in one of these play sessions.

Set in the park, we provided an afternoon offering a range of play opportunities for children to take part in. There were many different types of play activities on offer and all were freely available to the children for them to choose.

My favourite element of these events is arts and craft activities. The materials are fantastic, and fit nicely into the idea of using objects that aren’t necessarily ‘shop bought craft’. The materials come from a local scrapstore, which provides a huge variety of recycled objects collected from firms around South Wales. Paper and card, off cuts of material, plastic discs and tops of bottles, and all shapes and sizes of cloth. Items that most people would think of throwing away, the organisation called “Recreate” collects them and sells them in job-lots to the public.

It’s a really clever way of introducing children tothe concept of recycle and re-use.


The children are able to rummage through bags of treasures, seeking out inspiration to create their own personal craft creations.


Because the scheme is set in a green space, the children have the opportunity to play cricket, ball games and sack races, or whatever their imagination lets them discover. The staff are there to encourage and facilitate play experiences.

My daughters’ favourite part of the day was the make-shift swing and hammock. Both were made from recycled materials….. an old net and some strong elasticy-type material. Tied around the trees in the park, the children spend ages swinging back and forth on the swing and taking it in turns to relax, (and be bounced very high), in the homemade hammock. Two very simple but very effective ideas that the children adored and it was the last thing that was taken down at the end of the session!


We had a wonderful afternoon, and my daughter loves going to the playschemes. She enjoys having the freedom to play and explore. It’s a fantastic project that’s a huge benefit to the community and the dedication of the volunteers and staff is amazing.


It’s a great project that allows children to be free and, most important of all, gets everyone to play together!

This post was linked in with….

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall                                             

Learning for Life
Mini Creations

22 thoughts on “Finding Play Space In The City

  1. What a lovely idea. Children in cities need something like this.

    1. kim says:

      Hi, it is such a wonderful project. The children get so much out of the play time. Great idea in promoting play in the city.

  2. Joanna Chittenden says:

    Fantastic post! Thanks Kim. For all those interested in knowing more about our project checkout our Facebook page!
    & here’s the link to Recreate, the scrap store where we resource our sessions:)

    1. kim says:

      Hi Jo, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. We always have such a wonderful time when we come to the sessions. You all do such a wonderful job, a brilliant bonus for the community. I will add the links the the post as well.

  3. Kierna says:

    This looks like a great initiative, there is a similar project here in N.I run by friends of mine. Thanks so much for linking up xx

    1. kim says:

      Hi, great to link up. It is such a wonderful project, a really blessing for the community.

  4. How fantastic. Such a wonderful community driven event perfect for getting families outdoors to have some great fun. I love the idea of children using their imaginations to be creative with some interesting items that are being recycled. Thanks for linking up and sharing your fun day with Country Kids.

    1. kim says:

      Hi, its a great project with brilliant aims! The free play concept works so well and the children make some interesting things with the recycled materials.
      Love linking in with Country Kids, lots of great outdoor adventures to read about.

  5. What a fantastic project to be part of. Well done Kim. I’m hoping for a similar project here during the holidays as I’ve lots of craft stuff to donate.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    1. kim says:

      Hi David,
      Its a great project and we love being a part of it.
      Hope you get to have one similiar where you are, donating craft materials will be great and well used by the children.
      Thank you and take care,

  6. That swing hammock is so awesome and looks easy to do! This is really a nice project to start as you say teaches kids about recycling. #countrykids

    1. kim says:

      Hi, thank you. It was so amazing and such a clever idea.
      Its lovely to see all the children enjoying the idea of recycling, they come up with lovely creations and its great to see.

  7. Karen Bell says:

    What a fantastic idea and a great place.That swing and hammock looks so much fun.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    1. kim says:

      Hi, it is such a wonderful project and the community involvement is brilliant. I love being a part of it. Especially the hammock!

  8. kid GL loves says:

    The Mothers say – what a FAB idea – we’re loving this. Definitely one of our faves!! Thanks for linking to #minicreations

    1. kim says:

      Thank you, a great community project. Brilliant for both children and adults!

  9. Angelia says:

    Great work over here! Love the recycling efforts!

    1. kim says:

      Thank you, the children make such wonderful things from all the recycled materials. A fab project.

  10. This looks like a fantastic play scheme. If only more areas had schemes like this. Thanks so much for sharing at the Outdoor Play Party 🙂

    1. kim says:

      Hi, its a wonderful scheme, so important for the children in the community, they love it.

  11. Joanna Chittenden says:

    Thanks for all the great positive comments Kim & all, I love being involved with the project & seeing how much benefit the kids get from being outside & participating in the activities we provide:) we are lucky enough to have funding for another year yet, it’s so fab we can continue at least until then but always hopeful more will come along!

    1. kim says:

      Thank you Jo, it is such a wonderful project and I love being a part of it. It is so important for the children to have a safe play space and I love how all the children mix and play together. Seeing the parents being a part of it is such lovely extra as well.
      Well I hope the funders see the wonderful results and the photos of the scheme to understand the benefit of the playscheme and keep going with the funding. Its so needed for the whole community.

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