Playing Against the Coronavirus
Playroom and pandemic.
In February 2020 we had to interrupt all face-to-face activities of the toy library networks but, despite the confinement due to the “covid” pandemic, and at the request of the children themselves, we maintained some recreational activities online. In April 2020, with the beginning of the school year and the program of the Ministry of Education I learn at home, we realized that time, computers and mobile phones should preferably be dedicated to this task. «Children and families asked us for support in this virtual education experience», which was new to everyone.
The volunteers designed support activities for the official programmes, maintaining a playful character, but adapting to the contents and objectives of the official programme. The experience was very demanding, but also very rewarding for everyone. Directors of the schools previously evaluated the activities proposed by our volunteers and sent them to their students.
When there was no internet, we had to go to the mothers' mobile phones, transforming some of the Ministry's documents into mp4 and PDFs so that they could reach those students who did not have Wi-Fi. We even ran a small fundraising campaign”Charge me with education” so that the children could send their work to the teachers through their mothers' mobile phones.
Throughout these last two years we have maintained the direct participation of children in recreational activities. On May 28, 2020, International Game Day, we managed to launch an international Festival with clowns, stories, music, songs, dances, games, etc. in which more than 4,000 people participated. They even had the opportunity to see how the dolls that come to them from Spain are made!
The experience of that day has served us to establish other celebrations of costumes, stories, dances and dances, drawings, etc. At the end of July 2020, the children wanted to celebrate, also virtually, their National Holidays. Disguised as heroines and heroes, they discovered, playing, an important part of the history of Peru.
With the arrival of the summer holidays, in January 2021, the volunteers offered and organized a set of ludoworkshops where, without interfering with the official classes of the Ministry of Education, boys and girls could participate in several of them and learn what they they chose (English, crafts, origami, traditional Peruvian dance, music, drawing, painting, mathematics, music, modern dance, etc...). Most of them had two or more levels of difficulty, depending on the age and ability of the participants. Zoom became a wonderful tool that allowed us to do activities together, every day of the week, even if everyone was confined to their homes. It also allowed children from towns where we had never had face-to-face toy libraries to join.
Playing at home
At the beginning of the new school year in 2021, the summer program of ludoworkshops ended and we returned to the program of game at home on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. We once again celebrated International Game Day in May and Children's Rights Day in November. The celebration of National Holidays was made with the broadcast of five programs of a television network invented by us FED News (Education and Development Foundation) and put into operation by presenters and journalists from 4 to 7 years old who commented for the hundreds of followers the tangible and intangible heritage of Peru in the year of its Bicentennial. In that television game, the boys and girls acted with incredible professionalism, they learned and narrated a lot of information about Peruvian culture, they received enormous support from their respective families and, above all, they thoroughly enjoyed acting as true professionals.
Playing against the coronavirus “reinforces the idea of protecting and caring for oneself in order to protect and care for others”, especially the elderly. But it also gives them the experience of making a true celebration of play and friendship together.
In «Peru», in 2022, we have started the ludoworkshops again during the holidays, which in the southern hemisphere are in January and February. We also hope to resume some face-to-face activity in the toy libraries because in March the restart of classes in the schools themselves is already planned..