Playground GamesCentre Spot have received a National Lottery grant to explore the history of traditional playground games in the UK.

Centre Spot have been granted over £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help young people learn about their own heritage, through the exploration of traditional playground games.
The exciting new project will be based in the Black Country area and benefit children 8 – 11 years old, who are interested in volunteering for this project.

The project will focus on traditional playground games, where they came from and how to play them. Centre Spot also wants to create educational workbooks and a DVD that will support the project and help bring back playground games into our schools and communities.

The project will concentrate on games such as tag, hopscotch, British bulldog and many more games that will teach young people about their backgrounds and show the children how to exhibit this information, through film making. The DVD will explore these games in detail and tell the stories behind them, as well as communicate how these games were played. Centre Spot want volunteers to lead the sessions with the help of co-ordinators and deliver the sessions to primary schools in the area.

Children are now introduced to televisions, computers and phones at earlier ages, which now seem to dominate their lives. More and more children are growing up inactive, due to the overuse of these devices and we have somehow forgotten that play is a major part of a child’s development. Playground games are a fun and simplistic way of keeping the children in our community active, as well as furthering them to learn essential life skills, such as communicating with others and being creative. The project itself will open up more opportunities for young people to volunteer and gain necessary experience, needed to help them progress personally and professionally.

This project will benefit our community by looking at popular games in the Black Country and comparing those to which are played nationally. Through this we want to compare both the differences and similarities between them and educate young people on those which are distinct to the Black Country. In addition to teaching children about their heritage, we want to show children that physical activity can be fun and creative. We think that playground games are an advantage to children and schools across the Black Country, so we want to demonstrate this, with our project.

Centre Spot are a non-profit organisation that uses sport and physical activity to engage and develop young people. We want to help 20 young people, volunteer and engage other individuals, by collecting information about their heritage and achieving this through physical activity; which has been made possible by the National Lottery. We want to take this opportunity to explore how these games started, developed and why they have disappeared over the last 100 years. The project will help these games to be reintroduced to schools and our communities, as well as educating young people about the heritage of the Black Country.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands said:

“We are delighted to support this project, which, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, will encourage children in the Black Country to explore the fascinating heritage behind traditional outdoor games, many of which have disappeared.”