The Play Ideas Bank: Creative Playwork in the 1980s

When I started Playtrain in Birmingham in the early 1980s, I set about creating a comprehensive practical guide to creativity in playwork for "Playworkers and Playschemes everywhere", which was compiled and distributed as an ever-growing series of 4-page leaflets.

This was in the olden days before desk-top publishing, and it was all put together manually using an electric typewriter, pen and ink drawings, cutting and pasting. I got help from a wide network of colleagues experienced in creative play activities, but ended up doing most of the work myself - researching, writing, drawing, design and layout. A lot of it was based on my personal experience working on adventure playgrounds and playschemes. I produced 30 of these leaflets in total, but only have copies of the 12 shown here.

Many years later, the Gloucestershire Resource Centre scanned and digitised the original leaflets and so gave them a new lease of life. It is their digitised versions that appear here, and I thank them for this.

These leaflets are best seen now as relics of an earlier time in playwork, and should not be used as practical guides in today's risk-averse climate. I am uploading them here because, on re-reading them nearly 40 years after they were first produced, I think they give fascinating insights into what playwork was, what playworkers did, and our attitudes to risk, culture and creativity in those days.

To download a leaflet, click on the cover image below.

I would love to receive your feedback: HS

PIB02: Circus

PIB03: Cardboard Construction

PIB05: Cooking

PIB11: Mobiles

PIB13: Music

PIB14: Making Musical Instruments

PIB15: Co-operative Games

PIB20: Parachute Play

PIB22: Playscheme News (making your own newspaper)

PIB26: Board Games

PIB27: Kites

PIB28: Photography