Creative Outdoor Play in Fairview

About the project

The project will offer a creative outdoor play time for children from 3 – 6 years old every Saturday afternoon. We will use various parks, fields and/or wooded areas in Fairview.

The idea is that parents will come with their children, we meet at a certain spot in that area, the parents will maybe bring or use provided camping chairs, etc, to hang out and have a social time, while members of the project team engage with the children in activities.

Activities will include a range of outdoor games, simple science experiments and projects with natural materials. The project leader is the father of two boys, age 3 and 6, and will prepare most of the activities with his children during the week. The other parents can join the activities as they wish.

Some examples of possible activities:

  • Treasure hunt (with map)
  • Parachute games
  • Various variations tag and circle games
  • Soft disc frisbee
  • DIY outdoor bowling
  • Build a simple lean-to shelter in the woods
  • Form letters and numbers with our bodies, take pictures to create an alphabet
  • Make “egg tempera” paint (stone dust, egg yolk) to paint rocks, twigs or cardboard
  • Build a milk carton bird house with glue and collected twigs
  • Inspect trees, moss and other found items with magnifiying glasses
  • Build castles and the like using sand, rocks, branches, etc
  • Make and try out tin can stilts

Taking pictures of the results and during the activities will be an important part of of the project to illustrate what we did, create tangible memories for the people involved and be able to present the project within the community.

Why is this project relevant?

Outdoor activities available for families with children 3 – 6 years old are often organized sports classes, larger events where most things cost money or self-organized outings to playgrounds, trails, etc.

Low-income families in Fairview often cannot afford to register their children for such classes or drive their children to them.

Traditional “play dates” usually involve a small number of children invited to people’s homes. This is not an option when we want to create community and include a larger number of children.

By using a public but safe space, the project will literally act “in the open” and be inclusive. The project team represents a multi-cultural mix of families which will further add to the inclusiveness of the project.

What difference will it make in the Fairview area?

The project will build community, foster outdoor play, bring families together, enable multicultural exchange and learning in an informal setting.

It will explore creativity and play at low material costs and in ways that encourage DIY, use of natural materials, improvisation and active participation of children of different ages.

Time line and responsibilities

The project will start in June. It will take place every Saturday afternoon from 3 – 5 pm.

Each week the project leader (and other team members as necessary) will prepare the activities for the next weekend. The topics and planned activities do not require a specific sequence, so we will be pretty flexible what to put on the agenda each week.

Throughout the summer we will gather every week, as weather permits. When the project leader is not available (on vacation, sick, etc) other team members will take care of the sessions.

How long we carry on with the project will depend on the temperatures in the fall. September should still be fine.

At some point in October we will probably have to end this years activities, unless there are enough families who will participate in puddle jumping and other rainy weather fun.

The project leader and his sons will be mainly responsible for preparing the activities for each week. Other team members will mainly make sure that the parents are having a good time.