Rugby Art Gallery and Museum is preparing to launche a packed summer programme of creative play next week in time for the start of the school holidays.
The Playful Summer programme offers a wide range of opportunities for children to play, from helping to build a miniature Rugby from Duplo bricks to exploring nature in the great outdoors.
The programme supports the Summer of Play, a national campaign which calls for children to be offered the freedom to play following the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Playful Summer includes Mindful Mondays, where Jemma from Calm Space reveals relaxation and mindfulness techniques before helping children create clay sculptures or drawings inspired by nature.
The Construction Zone aims to build children's imaginations, developing communication and problem-solving skills during Duplo play sessions, while Giant Alphabet Art sets children the challenge of creating a colossal A to Z using a variety of printing tools and techniques.
St Andrew's Church hosts Playful Summer's Sustaining Hope project, where participants can help build a giant piece of art from weaved willow and natural resources, and Outdoor Explorers also encourages children to explore and create in the great outdoors.
National events also play a part in Playful Summer, with the Tripontium collection of Roman artefacts inspiring a weekend of activities to celebrate the Festival of Archaeology, and the Art Gallery and Museum joins forces with the council's Play Rangers team to mark National Play Day at a major event at Whitehall Recreation Ground on Wednesday 4 August.
With a wide range of other free workshops, outdoor sessions and arts activities taking place throughout the school holidays, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum has a host of opportunities for children to play out for the summer.
Sally Godden, the Art Gallery and Museum's senior learning and outreach officer, said the summer programme built on the success of the Playful Trail, Covid-secure, family-friendly sessions developed by the Art Gallery and Museum under Kids in Museums' National Lottery-funded Play in Museums in a Socially Distanced World project - one of only 11 museums nationwide to be selected to take part.
"The Playful Trail received recognition at the Kids in Museums Conference 2021 and the national Play 2021 conference staged by Playful Planet, and the experience of developing the trail has helped us devise a diverse programme of activities throughout the school summer holidays for children of all ages," Sally said.
"Covid restrictions have meant children have spent long periods indoors, inactive and isolated from friends, so Playful Summer and our pledge to support the Summer of Play offers children in Rugby the perfect opportunity to get out, get creative and get active during the holidays."
Playful Summer runs from Tuesday 20 July to Saturday 4 September.
Places at all sessions must be booked in advance and children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information on the full programme and to book sessions, visit www.ragm.co.uk/playfulsummer
Cllr Howard Roberts, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for leisure and wellbeing, said: "With the lifting of Covid restrictions, we can all look forward to brighter days ahead this summer and Rugby Art Gallery and Museum has planned a programme of activities to inspire and entertain children throughout the holidays.
"I'm delighted we're able to offer these sessions for free, but with limited places at all sessions, I'd encouraged everyone to book early."
For more information about events and exhibitions at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, visit www.ragm.co.uk