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    Designing the children’s area with safety and creativity in mind

    Day 18

    Stay Playful

    The children’s play area at the shelter is so important. Even where space is limited, kids need room to just be kids, especially after experiencing the trauma of being uprooted from what’s familiar. They need a safe place to be distracted, to be entertained, and to use their imagination in a joyful outlet, especially while their parents and guardians focus on difficult adult matters.

    But even though they have a play room, many of the items donated for kids didn’t quite fit in. In order to be safe for children of all ages, they needed to be easily cleaned and at least as large as a hand. So, we bought some fun items that fit these specifications, plus a poster to add some joy and encouragement to the walls!

    When we asked what kind of items could really make the play room functional and fun, one organizer named Kathy shared her dream. She said, “I want something that kids could create and be put up on the walls to help add happiness to this place.” Inspired by Kathy’s vision, we put together a butcher paper craft area so that kids could trace themselves or draw on the butcher paper and tape it up on the wall.

    One super curious and smart guest at the shelter named Oscar immediately took to the butcher paper. He traced us on the paper and was careful to add detail, even adding polished nails to match our fingers. As we got to know Oscar, we learned that he wanted to learn English. Right after that, a volunteer started teaching Oscar English. Just as the craft area encouraged creativity, it also opened up a space for human connection and deeper interactions.

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight

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    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!

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    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

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