Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Health and Recreation Department

Play // Category

Category based archive
24 Jun

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council developed a Play Strategy in March 2017 to establish a framework that relates to the provision of fixed play and the development of non-fixed play, across the Borough.

At its core, the Play Strategy acknowledges that play is a natural and fundamental aspect of children and young people’s lives that supports growth and development across a range of developmental areas.

In our continuing effort to improve the quality of service provided by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, we are carrying out a survey to establish the number of children aged 0-14 years old in the Blackskull area that would avail of play facilities and how those children play.

Council is committed to its equality and good relations duties as set out under section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Rural Need Act 2016 and as part of this consultation we would like to ensure that you/your organisation has every opportunity to express your view.

To complete our survey visit https://armaghbanbridgecraigavon.citizenspace.com/health-and-recreation/blackskull-play-park/

Our online Survey closes Friday 5th July 2019. Only one survey to be completed per household.

Blackskull Poster
31 May

Children under five must spend less time sitting watching screens, or restrained in prams and seats, get better quality sleep and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy, according to guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Achieving health for all means doing what is best for health right from the beginning of people’s lives. Early childhood is a period of rapid development and a time when family lifestyle patterns can be adapted to boost health gains,” says WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebryesus.

The new guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age were developed by a WHO panel of experts. They assessed the effects on young children of inadequate sleep, and time spent sitting watching screens or restrained in chairs and prams. They also reviewed evidence around the benefits of increased activity levels.

Failure to meet current physical activity recommendations is responsible for more than 5 million deaths globally each year across all age groups. Currently over 23% of adults and 80% of adolescents are not sufficiently physically active. If healthy physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep habits are established early in life, this helps shape habits through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.

“What we really need to do is bring back play for children. This is about making the shift from sedentary time to playtime, while protecting sleep,” says Dr Juana Willumsen, WHO focal point for childhood obesity and physical activity.

The pattern of overall 24 hour activity is key: replacing prolonged restrained or sedentary screen time with more active play, while making sure young children get enough good quality sleep. Quality sedentary time spent in interactive non screen based activities with a caregiver, such as reading, storytelling, singing and puzzles, is very important for child development.

Infants (less than 1 year) should:

  • Be physically active several times a day in a variety of ways, particularly through interactive floor based play; more is better. For those not yet mobile, this includes at least 30 minutes in prone position (tummy time) spread throughout the day while awake.
  • Not be restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g. prams/strollers, high chairs). Screen time is not recommended. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged.
  • Have 14-17h (0-3 months of age) or 12-16h (4-11 months of age) of good quality sleep, including naps.

Children 1-2 years of age should:

  • Spend at least 180 minutes in a variety of types of physical activities at any intensity, including moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, spread throughout the day, more is better.
  • Not be restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g. prams/strollers, high chairs) or sit for extended periods of time. For 1 years old, sedentary screen time is not recommended. For those aged 2 years, sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour, less is better. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged.
  • Have 11-14 hours of good quality sleep, including naps, with regular sleep and wake up times.

Children 3-4 years of age should:

  • Spend at least 180 minutes in a variety of types of physical activities at any intensity, of which at least 60 minutes is moderate- to vigorous intensity physical activity, spread throughout the day, more is better.
  • Not be restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g. prams/strollers) or sit for extended periods of time. Sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour.
  • Have 10-13h of good quality sleep, which may include a nap, with regular sleep and wake up times.
09 Apr

Residents are invited to come along and have their say on a proposed new play park at Rectory Park Play Area.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is hosting a public meeting at Regenerate, 1B Ardress Park on Tuesday 16th April 2019 to discuss the equipment, layout and design.

At the meeting residents will be given the chance to have their questions answered about the proposed play area and learn how council aims to implement the good practice design principles outlined within its play strategy, enhancing play value at existing sites and ensuring the future new development delivers a quality play experience for everyone.

For more information, contact the play development officer on 0300 0300 900.

08 Apr

The Mae Murray Foundation and PlayBoard NI are surveying parents and carers on play opportunities for children with disabilities. We are particularly interested in hearing views on fixed play areas i.e. play areas which have play equipment installed. The information gathered through the survey will be used as the basis for a new guidance document which will aim to influence the design and development of more inclusive play areas that meet the needs of all children.

We encourage parents and carers to complete the survey as we are keen to hear about the experiences of as many children as possible. The more people that take part, the bigger the impact we can make.

To complete the survey go to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MMFPBParentsCarers before 30 April.

27 Mar

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council today have unveiled designs following the recent announcement that Gosford Forest Park is to benefit from an £850,000 investment to create a unique outdoor play adventure experience.

Gosford Forest Park is located outside Markethill in County Armagh.  The 240-hectare estate features miles of paths and trails around the beautiful woodland and open park spaces.

Local people and families are encouraged to engage in a public consultation specially arranged to gain your views on the initial designs and will take place on Sunday 31st March at Gosford Forest Park, from 12noon to 5pm. Come along, meet the design team and have your say on their proposals – the design team will present detailed plans at 12noon and 3pm.

The Adventure Play Trail is being designed by award-winning landscape architects Davies White who have expertise in playful landscapes and innovative design. Since winning their first RHS Gold Medal and BBC People’s Choice Award the company have gone on to win over 15 national awards for innovative play space projects, including Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games Legacy Play Park.

The designs for Gosford Forest Park will showcase 5 iconic play structures linked by a 2km woodland play trail. The new outdoor adventure play experience will not only satisfy the growing demand for more child-orientated experiences in the Northern Ireland tourism market, it will establish Gosford Forest Park on a scale that is unprecedented amongst all other forest parks across the UK and Ireland, offering maximum play value, inclusivity and challenge for children of multiple age ranges.

If you are unable to make the public consultation session you can still provide us with your thoughts and views on the designs through our online consultation hub from Monday 1st April at www.getactiveabc.com/adventureplaytrail

Designs plans will remain online and display in the Function Hall at Gosford Forest Park for visitors to view and provide feedback until 28 April 2019.

26 Mar

As part of the council’s Capital Play Development Programme, the play park in Lurgan Park has been designated for refurbishment, with an investment of £250,000.

Before this refurbishment takes place, Council would like to hear resident’s views on where the new play park should be located. There are two options available, the existing site or a new site located close to the entrance of Waves Leisure Complex, Robert Street.

Please give us your views by completing our survey; this one will be online from 25/3/19 to 8/4/19:

https://armaghbanbridgecraigavon.citizenspace.com/health-and-recreation/lurgan-park-play-park 

04 Mar

The children’s play park at Tannaghmore Gardens and Rare Breed Animal Farm is receiving an investment of a quarter of a million pounds to completely upgrade it – and work is due to start in March!

The attraction, which is popular with schools and families all year round, boasts a rare breeds animal farm, maze, and large play park which has been loved by children for years – but has been identified as due for an upgrade.

The park will close on Monday 11th March for the exciting renovation works and should be completed by July, so children will be able to enjoy the brand new facilities during the summer holidays. The other areas of Tannaghmore Gardens, including the animal farm, will be unaffected by the works.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Julie Flaherty, commented:

“I am so excited to see the plans for the new play park in Tannaghmore! This facility will represent the largest investment in fixed play so far in ABC Council, and I am pleased that it will be tailored for specific age groups with areas for young children and toddlers, as well as more challenging play equipment, such as a zip line, for older children including teenagers.

“The inclusive play area has been designed for children of all needs, with sensory play panels and a fantastic wheelchair accessible in-ground trampoline.”

The £250,000 investment is part of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s £4.75m Play Strategy 2018-2026. The eight-year strategy puts ABC Council at the forefront of health, recreation and leisure in Northern Ireland, actively championing play to help improve understanding of its critical importance to children and young people.

While the play park at Tannaghmore is closed to accommodate the work, children can use the nearby Kinnego Marina play park which was upgraded in 2018.

20 Feb

Residents are invited to come along and have their say on a proposed play park in Avenue Road.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is hosting a public meeting at Avenue Road Community Centre on Wednesday 27th February at 7.00pm to discuss the equipment, layout and design.

At the meeting residents will be given the chance to have their questions answered about the proposed play area and learn how council aims to implement the good practise design principles outlined within its play strategy, enhancing play value at existing sites and ensuring the future new development delivers a quality play experience for everyone.

For more information, contact the play development officer on 0300 0300 900.

04 Feb

“Play is crucial to children’s healthy development and happiness and is vital for children’s mental health and wellbeing.”

It is through playing that children, from a very young age, engage with and learn about the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore the world, developing lifelong skills and competencies. From birth through to teenage years, babies and children develop important social and emotional skills through watching, listening and interacting with you and through their play. Good play experiences can therefore help nurture children’s emotional and mental health.

Life often throws challenges our way and it through talking, listening, interacting and playing that children learn to deal with these situations and develop new knowledge and coping skills.

As parents remember you play a vital role in encouraging children to be healthy:

  • Make time for fun and “down time” with your children, especially as they get older.
  • Enjoy some time watching, listening and playing with your child.
  • Allow your child to learn from their own mistakes with support.
  • Give your child age appropriate freedoms and help them learn their own limits. Show them you trust them to make appropriate decisions.
29 Jan

Evidence suggests that time spent in the natural environment offers developmental, emotional and overall health benefits for children. There are numerous benefits ranging from increased creativity and problem solving skills, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased physical activity.

Children who spend time outdoors in natural environments can be:

  • Happier – studies show fresh air, sunshine and increased activity levels all encourage good mood and reduce tendencies toward poor mental health.
  • Healthier – being outdoors in the natural environment helps children to access fresh air and vitamin D; indoor air is usually less healthy.
  • Calmer – exposure to nature and being outdoors can contribute to a healthy heart rate and reduced muscle tension including the production of stress hormones.
  • More physically active – children playing in natural environments can improve their motor fitness, coordination, balance and agility.
  • Better vision – being outdoors is good for eye health and time spent outdoors can help reduce short-sightedness in children.

“There’s no way that we can help children to learn to love and preserve this planet, if we don’t give them direct experiences with the miracles and blessings of nature.” – Anita Olds

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