‘Ministers’ to encourage playfulness on visit to Woodhorn this weekend

Visitors to the Northumberland Miners’ Picnic at Woodhorn Museum this Saturday (June 8) will have the chance to take part in a research project to discover how playful they are as part of Festival of the North East.

Following on from trips to Brazil – said to be very playful – and Norway – apparently not very playful – representatives (or self-styled ‘ministers’) from International Ministry of Play (IMP) will travel around the region on a specially converted double decker bus to carry out a datalogical survey of the region’s playfulness, discover play ‘hotspots’ and find out how the north east compares to the rest of the world.

An IMP spokesperson said: “We were invited as part of the Festival of the North East, which is a month-long celebration of the region’s creativity and innovation, to carry out play health checks and also give people the opportunity to rediscover the joy of playtime.

“On the bottom deck of our special bus, Ministers of Play will encourage visitors to add their memories of play to the ‘North East Map of Play’ whilst on the top deck you will receive a play health check which takes the form of a series of fun challenges – this could be anything from I-Spy to Hoopla to inventing a dance routine.

“Our daily challenge will invite people to instigate playful activity wherever they are at that moment in time and our survey will reach a climax on the June 29 with our Big Play Day.

“This is when we hope people will organise something playful to do and make a final contribution to the North East Map of Play.

“It could be as simple as some mud wrestling with the kids on the back garden or as grand as a region-wide game of hide and seek.

“We do hope people of all ages will get involved in the survey – without their help the future is quite frankly as dull as a novelty tie.”

For more information on IMP go to http://internationalministryofplay.tumblr.com/ or follow on Twitter and get involved @itsplaytime_NE #itsplaytime

For further information about Festival of the North East go to www.festivalne.com

The minsters will be at Woodhorn between 10am and 5pm.