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The impact of creative play

Bejal Gohil and her 27 month old toddler Ava, began attending Spark sessions in Autumn 2021. Bejal contacted us to let us know the impact they have had on her family.

Once lockdown had started to lift and things were becoming more ‘normal’ we were so eager to get involved with activities. I had missed out on these events during maternity leave as Ava was born at the start of the first lockdown.

It has been fantastic to see how much has been on offer and we have tried to attend what we can.

The grandparents (my in laws) have been taking Ava every week to see Dave ‘Stickman’ Higgins at his toddler time sessions at Pork Pie Library. Dave is a true performer who engages all the children with his songs and creativity. He is such a joy to watch. He learns the children’s names and really interacts on a personal level to keep kids stimulated.

He has even spread worldwide, my brother who lives in Australia was able to join in on his online zoom sessions with our niece (who used to see him in Knighton Library), so he is a well-known name in the extended family.

More recently we have also seen Ashley performing at Pork Pie Library and he has been just as fantastic.

My mum (the other grandparent) has been taking Ava to sessions on alternate weeks to Hamilton Library and St Barnabas Library, where artist Sophie Cullinan is based, and there is so much positivity, creativity and engagement. I have also seen Sophie and Dave during the extra half term, Xmas and Easter special creative play sessions.

We have also been able to see Iryna and Andrei at the Beaumont Leys Library Toddler Play Days. Both are just as engaging and have been excellent with keeping kids interested with the array of musical instruments, singing and the ways they involve everyone.

Tim and Tadenda at the African Caribbean Centre have kept the kids engaged with so much interaction and stimulation. I really am thankful.

In addition, we had a lot of fun at the National Play Day in Town Hall Square. There were so many activities, and it was great to see so many different ethnicities and cultures all joining in activities which were applicable to all.

We love the creativeness, the music, the crafts and we really want all the Spark sessions to continue! I really hope you find future funding, as the joy all the Spark staff bring to the kids and my child is priceless.

We would like to thank Bejal for sharing Ava’s early years adventure with The Spark and we look forward to meeting you both again in the near future. These sessions were delivered by The Spark for Leicester City Council using public funding by Arts Council England and supported by BBC Children in Need.