Today our family are leaving the Caerfai Farm campsite where we have been staying for the last few days. This picture is of the biggest of three fields at the campsite.
Each field has a similar layout with tents and vehicles allocated a plot around its perimetre. That means the centre of each field is open. Why is this important? Because this is the space where all the kids play (I should have taken a picture to better illustrate this!). During the day and especially in the evening, when all the kids are back from the beach, they all head to the middle of the fields and play. Games I have seen – and variously been involved in – include football, cricket, tennis, tug of war, frisbee and lots of other chasing and hiding type games.
My children have had a great time and have made new friends as a result of playing in the middle of the field. It has also been fascinating watching how they get involved with each others’ games. It seems so easy – they just go and ask and get stuck in.
The games are open and inclusive and a lot of fun and from playing them the children have developed holiday friendships.
Would all this have happened if all the fields had been filled with tents? Probably – children are inventive and will come together, I’m sure. That said, I can’t help feeling that providing open spaces for children (and their parents) to come together can be a powerful catalyst for interesting and fun things to happen.