If you live in Swansea you may well have noticed banners and signs for ParkLives up in the local parks. And you might have wondered what they’re all about.
Well, ParkLives is an initiative that was launched by Coca-Cola back in 2014.
They work in partnership with local authorities across the UK to offer all sorts of free activities to encourage people to get out and enjoy their local parks and green spaces.
Swansea is one of 10 cities that is involved with ParkLives and it’s been amazing this summer seeing all the different sessions that are going on in so many of our parks.
We had a great time at the family fun day in Brynmill Park last week and we’ve also been along to a family yoga session and an arts and crafts session that were both so much fun.
The first activity that we tried out was a family yoga session in Cwmdonkin park.
The ParkLives website said that the session was suitable for children aged 5 and over, so Nerys stayed home to do some gardening with Steve and Rhys and I walked over to the park to give yoga a try.
I was really pleased when I first saw that family yoga was available with ParkLives, because it was something I had mentioned to Rhys at the start of the summer holidays that maybe we should try.
He is such a high energy child I thought that yoga might be a great activity to try, to see if it could give him some skills to use to calm himself down and focus when he needs to.
When we got to the session we were given a lovely friendly welcome and then we spread out our blanket and got to it.
I have to admit I was a bit nervous before we went to the session because I’m not the most flexible person and haven’t done that much yoga before. But I really shouldn’t have worried. The session was really relaxed and fun, and it really didn’t matter if we couldn’t quite do the poses as well as some of the other people there.
Part of the session involved the children choosing cards with poses on them for their parents to try out with them.
Rhys chose the down dog card. which is one of the few poses I know so I was pretty happy with that!
The session lasted an hour which felt just about right and I was really proud of Rhys for staying focused on what we were doing the whole time.
I really enjoyed every aspect of the family yoga session, and best of all as we walked home Rhys told me he really enjoyed it and would like to do it again. So I’m pretty sure we’ll be heading back for more sessions, it is just such a lovely thing for us to do together.
The other session we have been along to this summer was a fab arts and crafts activity in the discovery centre in Brynmill park.
The session was listed on the ParkLives website as a ‘design a duck’ activity, and honestly we were a little bit intrigued as to what it would actually involve!
When we got to the park we found that it was a lovely simple craft activity that involved using all sorts of materials to decorate a picture of a duck.
As soon as we sat down we were handed crayons and tinsel and tissue paper and felt in all sorts of colours.
Rhys and Nerys couldn’t wait to get started, and I loved sitting back and watching their different approaches.
Nerys went down the creative route, and made a beautifully bright and colourful duck. It even had 2 googly eyes on its tummy, which added a nice little picasso-like touch of abstractism to her creation!
Rhys, on the other hand, decided straight away that he wanted to design a duck that actually looked like a real duck.
I find it fascinating to see how my children work and think in such different ways!
Rhys worked really hard on his picture, and was so proud of it when he had finished. Especially when the judge came along to choose their favourite duck and his won!
He couldn’t quite believe it to start with, I really don’t think he was expecting his picture to be chosen.
That little toy duck means really quite a lot to him and he was so excited to show it to Steve and then to his grandparents when he saw them the next day.
Our experiences with ParkLives in Swansea have been really positive so far.
The sessions have all been really well organised, and run by lovely welcoming staff. What I really love is the variety of activities that are available.
The options in Swansea include:
- Tai Chi
- Scooters and skateboard sessions
- Dodgeball and endball
- Walk and talk sessions
- Circus skills
There are so many sessions available, there really is something for everyone.
For more information and to see what activities are on in your area pop over to ParkLives.com and put your postcode in the search box.
Then head outside and start having some fun in the park!
Disclosure – this is a sponsored post, but all words and opinions are my own.