Last weekend I experienced an event that restored a great deal of faith in me in the future of play in this country and indeed anywhere else.
Over the Labour Day Weekend, my dear colleagues Talina Edwards and Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling and I were joined by a raft of volunteers and around 3000 children and their families to again build cubbies out of cardboard boxes. The Creative Cubby Project’s ‘In My Garden’ at the Ballarat Begonia Festival saw us building a veritable cardboard city, as well as using different types of natural ‘foraged’ materials such as pinecones, sticks, leaves, branches, gumnuts and seedpods to creatively construct gardens.
The project was a massive success, with the main stress being that we nearly ran out of masking tape!
Again the ‘humble’ cardboard box ruled supreme as amazingly witty and colourful creations were formed. On the final day we likened the cubby zone to a shanty town, but oh what fun was had….not an i-pad in sight and very few tears or angry words shed (and most of those due to tiredness from an active day). Children of all ages (toddlers to teens) joined forces to build and play together and it hardly cost a cent. The shade of two massive stately horse chestnut trees was delightful and the lawn area at the Botanic Gardens inviting, so much so that at one stage I counted 10 prams parked at the entry!
Call me naive, but I suspect if the UN took to building cubbies together…the world would be a better place.