Children enjoy a summer of play with YMCA

ARTISTIC Isobel Fraser-Harris, 11, with her splat art. Picture: Sarah Standing (122558-481)
ARTISTIC Isobel Fraser-Harris, 11, with her splat art. Picture: Sarah Standing (122558-481)

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CHILDREN have been taking part in celebrations to mark the 25th annual National Playday.

Youngsters took part in den building, treasure hunts and cake-making as part of the day organised by the YMCA Portsmouth Daycamps scheme in Charter Community Sports Centre, Landport, yesterday.

There were also other craft activities and games at the event aimed at children aged four to 16.

It was organised as part of a national campaign to highlight the importance of play within children’s lives.

Rob Allman, the Portsmouth children’s work co-ordinator for the YMCA, said: ‘The children are gaining all sorts of experiences and opportunities, with new activities to learn and they are also getting a chance to meet other children.

‘This makes sure they’re learning the right way, just letting them play with different resources, exploring the environment, exploring different possibilities with things they wouldn’t normally experience.’

The YMCA’s Daycamps scheme has been going for more than 20 years.

It aims to provide children with experiences that allow them to enjoy, achieve and grow.

Mr Allman said: ‘These days play is more about learning and developing the child through play, not what benefits it gives to children through actually playing and enjoying themselves for a whole day, rather than worrying about targets and goals.’

The Daycamps run throughout the year and cost £22 per day.

For more information about YMCA Daycamps, call 07789 483709.


· Visit the National Museum of the Royal Navy for a morning of dressing up, music, crafts and treasure hunts with Telescope Tales for Toddlers. It is aimed at children under five and is on from 11am to 1pm every Friday in August. Entry is free for under fives and accompanying adults. For more information call (023) 9272 7562

· Marvel at the music of the military with the Royal Marines School of Music concert at Portsmouth Guildhall. All ages are welcome and entry is priced at £10 for adults and £8 for children and concessions. The concert stars at 2pm. For more information or to book call (023) 9282 4355 or visit

· Head down to Gunwharf Quays for a sample of all things Italian as the popular La Dolce Vita Italian Market comes back to the city. The market will be open from 10am to 7pm.

· Spot a bargain and sample some new crafts at the Indoor Craft and Flea Market, taking place at Horndean Community Centre from 9am to 11.30pm. Parking and refreshments are available. For more information call (023) 9226 6622.

· Catch the finale of the 2012 Model Yachting Association A Class Championships at Walpole Park, Gosport. It is the last chance to see the action on the deciding day of the event. Admission is free. The day starts 9.30am and goes on till 5pm

· Sample some Victorian history with a day of fun-filled activities at Fort Nelson. Watch the firing of the guns, have a go on some traditional fairground rides and find out what life was like on Portsdown Hill during Queen Victoria’s reign. Admission is free. Call 01329 233734 for more information