Sheffield City Council/Creative Sparks
Creative Sparks is a project run for young people for Sheffield City Council as part of the PAYP scheme.
As parents we are fully aware that, when they have some time off from school, children have a lot of options to keep them entertained. Unfortunately, they too often forgo the big wide world in favour of their games consoles and holiday television. That’s fair enough but sometimes isn’t it just nice for the children to get out of the house and experience the world around them?
Creative Sparks is a long running project throughout the city of Sheffield that is mainly undertaken during the school holidays. Of course, the main aim of out of school projects such as this is to make sure the children enjoy themselves and have a positive experience but there is more to Creative Sparks than that. Dead Earnest and Sheffield City Council wanted the children to really engage and feel comfortable with the environment that surrounds them.
In the bustling centre of Sheffield and around various other locations across the city such as Firth Park, Dead Earnest set up a range of exciting, interesting and interactive activities to help to change the young children’s perceptions of public space in a positive way.
Activities such as art and craft workshops, movement games, working as a team, being a detective and, of course, using imagination and creativity to see the habitat differently allowed the children to really connect with their environment. They draw, stick, make and sculpt. Perhaps they draw or make a person they have seen. They move, tell stories and make shapes. You regularly see children charging around a park having fun but how often do you see them really look closely at everything around them? That’s what Creative Sparks is all about; helping the children connect with their world.
Lead by adult support workers, the activities generally take up around 90 minutes of time in total, offering a nice way for children (who can be accompanied by adults if they wish!) to spend a morning or afternoon of their free time. It is a way of bonding with other children and the world in which they live.
It has now reached over 1000 children and has a bank of over 200 activities sparking creative ideas, filling the public space with colour, energy and ideas. The children have fun, they are playful but they also claim a share of the space they are in.
Wouldn’t they prefer to be sat in front of the TV?
Apparently not. Out of the 300 young people we asked about their enjoyment of the Creative Sparks project, the average fun-rating was 9.5 out of 10. A good sign, we’re sure you’ll agree?
We also got some great comments:
“10/10 – It wasn’t good, it was fantastic.”