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Thinking outside the box with playtime

COLOURFUL boxes full of fun have been rolled out to libraries across the region as part of an innovative project to help children and families with early years learning.

Developed by Leeds Libraries in partnership with Playful Anywhere and Play Explore Art, Cleethorpes Library will benefit from a mini playbox, one of 14 libraries in areas around Yorkshire and Humber, after a successful pilot in eight libraries in Leeds.

Each of the brightly-coloured boxes contains games and activities which focus on encouraging early speech, language, communication, and numeracy and which families can easily recreate at home.

Contents of the boxes include everything from measuring spoons to a dustpan and brush, pegs for counting and ping pong balls.

Free to use and with no time limit, it is hoped the boxes will help boost learning and creativity while also supporting local families with their learning both at home and in the library.

The regional rollout of the playboxes has come as part of a project to mark the Coronation of King Charles III and has been made possible through generous funding from Arts Council England and Libraries Connected Yorkshire and Humber. 

Andrea Ellison, chief librarian with Leeds Libraries, said:

“Our mini playboxes have been a beautiful and inspiring addition to our libraries in Leeds and it’s wonderful to see them being added to more libraries across the region.

“It’s a great example of how libraries are now hubs for creativity, learning and innovation where local residents and families can come together and experience something fun and interactive.”

As well as libraries in Leeds, other locations with a library taking part in the project include Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Doncaster, East Riding, Hull, Kirklees, North East Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wakefield and York.

The boxes are free to use during Cleethorpes Library’s children’s activities and events. For more information visit www.lincsinspire.com/playboxes

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