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Playboxes bring fun and creativity to Armley Moor

By Grace Cooper

Big shipping containers, known as Playboxes, have been providing fun and activities for youngsters on Armley Moor during the summer holidays.

Once opened up, various toys and activities are inside for anybody to get involved with.

Playful Anywhere began in 2012 and offers various creative and playful activities, with the playboxes being one of them. 

Armley Action Team are working with Playful Anywhere to deliver the Playbox to the residents of Armley, and it will remain on Armley Moor up until the Armley Festival on Saturday, 9 September.

Playbox has been based on on Armley Moor. Photo: Grace Cooper

Fran Graham from Armley Action Team says the playboxes and Playful Anywhere are “Interested in play for all ages, and believe that children, young people and adults should have access to things to play with.

“Lots of the things inside are geared towards kids realising their own fun and creativity helping youngsters to tap into hidden or obvious talents.” 

Playful Anywhere playboxes have also been beyond Leeds in such as Cambridge and York. 

Fran says the playbox in Armley is partly to see if local people would be interested in a permanent playbox. She adds that permanent playboxes have been a success in Seacroft and Bradford, with it being a collaborative activity for the community. 

The playbox has attracted many people to play, with Fran saying that all ages have been involved, which she says is what is “really lovely about the playbox” adding that “you have to remind adults sometimes that they’re still playful”.

A summer of fun on Armley Moor. Photo: Grace Cooper

Shenanigans Armley, a local women’s group who got involved with the playbox, is one example of adults joining in with the fun. 

Susan and Claire are among many parents accompanying children to the playbox. They said: “It’s a marvellous idea to encourage play and bring the community together. Local activities are better than having to head into the middle of town.”

The playbox is a free activity to get involved with and more sessions with the playbox are due to take place. Today (Wednesday, 30 August) a session is being run by We Belong Here from 4.30pm-7.30pm, on Thursday, 31 August Barca-Leeds are running a session from 10am-12pm and on Friday, September 1 a session for 13-17 year olds by Leeds Youth Service is taking place.

The playbox will also still be around on Armley Moor during Armley Festival on Saturday, 9 September.

Playful Anywhere was established in 2012 by Pudsey resident Emma Bearman with a mission to learn from her young inquisitive children how to fully embrace the joy in the ordinary everyday moments and minutiae, see the potential in places and the people they encountered.

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