Let’s Play @ MASKK

Let’s Play is MASKK’s wider community arm. MASKK deliver a variety of activities that encourage children and families to play more and these are delivered in a variety of locations. These take place when we have grants and donations that enable them.

 

#StartForLife

MASKK believe children today do not have the same opportunities to play freely, in a safe environment and in the way that many of us were able to do when we were children. Through play, children develop social and interaction skills, whilst also supporting their physical and emotional development. Play allows them to discover the world around them, learn about each other and start to understand themselves. By playing, children try new things, negotiate with each other, make decisions, learn to cooperate, to pick themselves up and to try again if things don’t work out the first time. Play is essential to the development of a healthy child. It should be freely chosen and offer a balance of risk and challenge.

The NHS and UK Government in 2023 started the #StartForLife campaign that acknowledges and promotes the importance of play. 

‘Play is great for children’s well-being and development. When planning and providing play opportunities, the goal is not to eliminate risk, but to weigh up the risks and benefits. No child will learn about risk if they are wrapped in cotton wool’.

Children’s play and leisure: promoting a balanced approach July 2012

Health and Safety Executive Publication

What are MASKK doing?

MASKK aims through the support of partners, to meet the play needs of local children through various projects and activities. There is no national or local government grants to support children’s play and so these activities can change from term to term due to funding as all of them require grants and/or donations to make them happen.

All of our sessions are created in consultation with local children, young people and their families. These sessions may change subject to funding or the wishes of the children. 

 

Sheffield Healthy Holidays (Healthy Activities and Food – HAF) supporting children who receive benefits related free school meals.

During the school holidays MASKK run activities and sessions for children aged from Reception class to 14 as well as activities for the whole family.

All are free and include fun activites and a meal, with some running alongside our other groups so that all the children (free school meals or not) can play together.

Each holiday we have to apply for the funding, so the activities are subject to change and can not be annouced until the funding is confirmed.

For more information visit https://sheffieldhealthyholidays.org/

Email letsplay@maskk.org.uk for more information.

Young people aged 8+ had been asking us for something for young people who prefer calmer activities, somewhere to come be with friends and develop some skills. 

Each Tuesday term time this group runs from 4:30pm until 6pm.

We ask parents to book using our MagicBooking system so we know how many children and young people will be attending. As it runs alongside our Out of School Club, the children and young people receive the same high quality care. 

In 2023 we supported local people in Wybourn to create a new weekly Wybourn Kids Club in the recently built Pat Midgley Community Hub.

Supported by our team and local volunteers this new group has been popular from day one with demand for another session. The most requested activities from the children have been the messy creative type ones.

It Runs Term Time, on Thursdays 4:30pm until 5:45pm. 

You can read more about it here https://www.maskk.org.uk/wybourn-kids-club/

We hear regular feedback from children and young people, mainly 8 to 13 year olds, that there is nothing for them in the area. At a recent consultation event with a local Councillor one young person fed back that they just want somewhere to be where adults don’t judge them, sharing they fear putting their hood up in the rain because of how adults make them feel.

In 2024 MASKK have committed to supporting the creation of spaces for them to be young people and on Tuesday 30th January start our first ‘Young People’s Hangout’, 6pm until 7:45pm here at Temple Park Centre. Free and open access so young people can bring themselves.

In 2022 we started working with Sheffield Theatres to create Showtime! a weekly activity. In July that year the children performed on stage at the Crucible.

The group continued as Creative Thursdays,which ran during term time. Since then they’ve worked on different forms of art and put on further shows in December 2022 and in July 2023 we once again performed on stage at the Crucible. You can watch the performance here: https://www.maskk.org.uk/showtime-at-the-crucible/

From 2007 to present MASKK have given our time, resources and expertise to help local events take place. Each year we work in partnership with other local groups and volunteers, to help plan and run events that bring the community together and celebrate what an amazing diverse area we have.

These include:

  • Easter Crafts & Fun
  • Summer Fun Days
  • Halloween in the Park
  • Community Bonfire
  • Various Christmas Events including a Community Panto

MASKK are a registered Arts Award Centre, with Craig and Emma trained to deliver the Discover and Explore Awards. These are nationally recognised qualifications which give children and young people a chance to explore the arts and creativity.

For more information visit https://www.artsaward.org.uk/

MASKK is registered as a Children’s University Centre, meaning that children can earn ‘hours’ when taking part in our structured activities such as the creative clubs. We have a small supply of Passports available for local children too, if buying one is a barrier, please ask one of our team about this.

For more information visit https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/schools-childcare/childrens-university

Keep looking at our latest news on our homepage for details of upcoming activities and events.

Let’s Play sessions are led by our Development Co-ordinator or Youth & Community Co-ordinator alongside our experienced team of Playworkers and Volunteers. All our session leaders have DBS checks, Playwork training, First Aid Training, Safeguarding Training, Food Hygiene Training and much more. We work closely with training providers to ensure our staff and volunteers have access to up to date and relevant training.

Have you got an idea for an activity or project to support children but need some help to get it started? Then email our Play & Development Manager craigjudson@maskk.org.uk to see if we can help.

Due to covid-19 restrictions our community activities were significantly reduced in 2020 and so we created some at home resources. These can still be found here: https://www.maskk.org.uk/home/maskk-activity-booklets/  for you to enjoy.