Families can get creative this summer thanks to Starcatchers

Families supported by Children 1st are set to get creative this summer thanks to an inspirational project.
Starcatchers, Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years Organisation, has distributed 2,000 Creative Play Packs to babies, young children and their families across Scotland, including those supported by Children 1st.
Each pack includes a set of 20 ‘Wee Inspiration’ idea cards and supporting resources from Starcatchers, designed to encourage fun and creative play between adults and little ones.
Leana Grant, who is the team leader at the Children 1st North Ayrshire Family Wellbeing Hub, said: “We are delighted to be part of this important partnership with Starcatchers to bring more creativity and fun into families’ lives this summer.
“The creative arts are a brilliant way to build the strong family relationships that are so important to babies and young children’s development and emotional wellbeing.
“Many children and their families are living with anxiety, loss or financial difficulties, so the Starcatchers play packs are an important way for them to connect and to have fun together during, what may be a strange and difficult summer.
“During the summer Children 1st family support teams will explore the packs with children and their families through video call, or at a physical distance in the garden or in local parks.”
The project builds on Starcatchers’ Wee Inspirations online programme, which has been sharing simple, low-stress, fun ideas for families with young children to enjoy together throughout lockdown and into the summer holidays.
Whether it’s painting with big sticks, creating a ‘love letter’ for distant family members, building secret sensory dens or creating works of art out natural materials the most important thing is providing some inspiration that gives families the chance to spend time being playful and creative together, particularly during stressful times when many are living with anxiety, loss or financial difficulties.
With support from the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund and the National Lottery Awards for All, Starcatchers has been able to extend its reach to families who may not have easy access to the internet.
The 20 printed idea cards are complemented by a range of open-ended materials including arts materials and other ‘treasures’ to inspire imagination and new ideas.
They’ll be distributed to those families who are likely to benefit most by partners including Children 1st, CHANGE Childcare and Nurture Glasgow East, Edinburgh City Council and Falkirk Council.
Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers, said: “Engaging in arts and creative activities is hugely important for young children’s development and overall wellbeing.
“When they are shared experiences with a parent or carer, this can really help strengthen bonds and attachment.
“When Lockdown was first imposed we knew that, with less external support, many parents with little ones may feel isolated and stressed.
"That’s when fun, inspiration and being able to spend really positive time together is more important than ever.
“We hope these Creative Play Packs will provide exactly that this summer and reach families who have missed Wee Inspirations online.”