The summer holidays are always the busiest time of year at work and all three of the children’s projects I help run started their playschemes on Monday. My role includes lots of fundraising, developing services, and supporting more than fifty volunteers. But the part of the post I enjoy most is working directly with the children and I feel lucky, after being a playworker for almost fifteen years, that there’s still an element of this in my current job.
The children have chosen a theme for one day of each week in August, and every Thursday I’m going to be supporting these themed days. Today was the first and it was Water Day. The children decided on this many weeks ago so we had no idea what the weather would be like on the day. It turned out to be boiling hot, with a cloudless blue sky and the sun beaming down all day.
I ran a similar day at the playground last year and on that occasion we transformed our sandpit into a reef. Today the whole area became a luxury spa and water park.
With the help of my support worker I covered the sandpit with tarpaulins and filled it with water so it became a pool. We made a lounging area using soft play mats, and on the decked platform overlooking the pool we lined up buckets of water and frothy bubble bath to create a relaxing foot spa. The final touch was to construct a slide at one end of the pool, using a sheet of wood covered with another tarp. A hose sat at the top of this and we added soap for extra skid. The spa was ready for business, and it was busy all day.
We went on for about five hours with just a brief break for lunch. I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to spend a hot day. At one point when I sat in the cool pool periodically spraying happy children with water, I felt that doing this for a living made the luckiest person in London.