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These ideas were put together by the team of Play Association Tower Hamlets, PATH, several years ago.

The idea was to give some no-cost little nudges to parents to help during the in between moments, a doctors waiting room, a train journey, a walk to school, and to provide some ideas for resources of things to do at home.

All of them are tiny provocations or hints that an adult can use to spark play.

Any of these ideas will kickstart improvisation from the children and lead to their own ways of playing, which will be much better than any suggestions and adult will ever make.

Sad to say PATH had to close this month after 20 years of advocating for play in Tower Hamlets. With a typical generosity of spirit, they were keen to see the resources that they had produced over those years shared as widely as possible. I think that this rainbow of Play Prompts is just the sort of thing that is useful right now.
We can do craft sessions or fitness classes or homeschooling to support our children. But it is entirely possible that the very best thing we can do for them is to have them play, in ways that are invented and inspired by themselves.

Play is how children work out how to be in the world and they also use it to manage the problems that they are coming across.

We need to trust our children with their playing. These card are a way to help adults to do just that.

Keep Playing!


This year National Playday was a bombastic event at Mudchute Farm. Children made giant xylophones, drum kits and symbols from upturned bins, pipes and wheelbarrows. Thanks to Moto Yogo (the yummiest organic frozen yogurt in the spooniverse) for donating jumbo milk bottles to us, these were filled with dried beans and made excellent shakers. After all the instruments had been made, trained percussionist Rob taught the band some crazy beats like ‘have a cuppa cuppa cuppa tea’. Onlookers were entertained as the chaotic fury of noise was transformed into a tight rhythym as the children became very tight and responsive. I think all the children who took part left feeling totally bojangled at the end of the day.

A big thanks to the young organisers Logan, Sophie, Ibrahim, Shanon, Connor, Kulsuma and John for making the day a brilliant event and staying for the huge tidy up. Thanks also to PATH for sponsoring the event and MAYP for a fantastic group of young volunteers.