Do you ever struggle to keep the children occupied after school and over the holidays? Do you spend a fortune on toys, games and activities to keep them busy?
Did you know that there are twelve adventure playgrounds in Islington? All of which are fully supervised and free for children to attend. Adventure playgrounds are spaces where children are free to come and go as they like, free to play how they want and free at the point of access.
Islington Play Association runs six of the adventure playgrounds across the borough: Crumbles Castle, Hayward, Lumpy Hill, Martin Luther King, Timbuktu and Toffee Park.
• Crumbles Castle Adventure Playground, on Bingfield Street, is an exciting play space in the grounds of a real castle. It is a beautiful green space under trees filled with nature, exciting structures to climb and lots of places to play.
• Hayward is a specially designed site for disabled children and young people aged 5 – 19. It is currently run by the leading disabled children’s charity, KIDS, on behalf of Islington Play Association. The adventure playground provides a secure and stimulating environment where children have access to a wide variety of structured and unstructured activities.
• Lumpy Hill, located on Market Road, is an amazing natural environment where children can grow their own vegetables, cook in a clay oven, build fires on a firepit and play on structures in amongst the trees.
• Martin Luther King, on Sheringham Road next to Freightliners Farm, is an adventure playground with swings and an aerial runway. The children here have a chance to make new friends as they take part in activities such as arts and crafts, cooking, building fires and making camps.
• Timbuktu is a popular adventure playground on Grenville Road in Upper Holloway. It’s a great space where children can meet with their friends, hunt for the playground’s rabbit, discover the pond and its frogs, and have a go on the thrilling drop slide.
• Toffee Park Adventure Playground is an award winning adventure playground located in south Islington, near the city, on Ironmonger Row. Children can build camps, grow vegetables, cook, take part in arts and crafts, learn about wildlife, hunt for bugs and and play in amongst the trees.
The ethos on adventure playgrounds is very different to the structured environments that children spend most of their time in, so it is important that parents fully understand what this entails. Our trained playworkers will observe children at play and only intervene if needed i.e. when there is a risk of serious emotional or physical harm. The children may, amongst other things:
• Get muddy or messy
• Sword fight with sticks
• Enjoy challenging play such as jumping off high platforms
• Use furniture or objects in an unusual way
• Get wet
Our playworkers understand that all children are unique and will make every effort to accommodate each child’s emotional, intellectual, physical and social needs.
As well as the six adventure playgrounds, Islington Play Association runs Paradise Park Children’s Centre on Mackenzie Road. It offers a wide range of services to the local community including ESOL classes, stay & play sessions and a toy library. The full summer schedule for Paradise Park Children’s Centre can be viewed online here.