The bags of fun keeping youngsters entertained in lockdown

Parents have expressed their delight after receiving bags of goodies and activities to help keep their children entertained during lockdown.

Tameside Youth Service successfully applied for funding and then put together and delivered 75 bags, packed full of things to do, to families across the borough in time for half-term. Each bag included instructions and resources needed for four days of activity.

The “Paper Bag Play Scheme” was co-ordinated with the Youth Participation Partnership, which Tameside Youth Service is part of, who identified families they were already in touch with to ask if they’d like to take part.

In a short space of time, the youth service sought funding for a pilot scheme and got the bags ready.  Youth Workers delivered them and used it as an opportunity to have a “garden gate catch-up” with the families while keeping socially distanced.

The initiative has gone down a treat with parents who say it helped get children away from screens to take part in baking, exercises and traditional games.

One mum said: “I was so happy to see my children off the laptops and playing again without a screen. The children were in the garden blowing bubbles at each other, which was lovely.”

Another parent said: “First impressions were amazing. She couldn’t wait to open it and get started. As soon as it came she started doing the activities. She enjoyed everything in the pack and would be delighted to do it again. A lovely birthday gift as birthday was fast approaching.”

Another recipient commented: “Thank you so much for the activity bag you delivered to us, my son has already been speaking to his friends on Zoom comparing what they all got in their bags! We’d run out of things to do, so this kept him busy for a few days!”

Other comments included: “The paint pallet hasn’t been dry - she’s had it out every day”, “really, really enjoyed the paper bag activity pack. She loved the skipping rope!” and “all in all a really good, engaging activity pack. Very much appreciated and definitely worthy!”

Tameside Council Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Allison Gwynne, said: “This was a great initiative giving children traditional activities to do to help keep them entertained at a time when parents might be running out of ideas. I’m delighted that parents found them so beneficial.”

The Youth Participation Partnership was set up around a year ago to bring organisations and voluntary groups together to work on key issues that the sector faces and help with training and funding.

Little did they know then how coronavirus was going to have such an effect on everyone’s lives, but the partnership has helped in keeping young people educated and entertained during lockdown.

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