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Playtime 2015 conference report

Anita Williams experienced her first Playtime conference this year. Having heard amazing reports of the event in previous years her expectations were high, so how did she get on?

I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. From the moment the doors opened there was a real buzz in the atmosphere that remained throughout the day. We were each treated to a fab goodie bag, a fresh Danish pastry and coffee when we arrived, and we began the conference with worship lead by a talented duo, Dave and John. The venue and staff were brilliant – they even managed to feed 400 delegates in a record 10 minutes!

With such a rich selection of workshops on offer, it was hard to choose which to attend. Amongst the options there were sessions on music, crafts, team development, Godly play and equipping parents to understand their child’s needs and build strong foundations with them.

The theme of this year’s Playtime was ‘Shaping the Future’. Rob Parsons reminded us that even at the beginning of a child’s life, our involvement with them plants seeds for their future. Whilst we may not know what awaits the children who attend our group, we can do our best to make our precious time with them count. He also reminded us how important the time we invest in parents or carers during toddler sessions can be – something I can vouch for myself as I can still remember the support, tips and life lessons I received when I took my children to playgroup.

Carrie Grant gave an excellent talk on being the ‘real you’ in ‘Authentic Leadership’.  She reassured us that we can be used no matter what our backgrounds, characteristics and experiences are, and no matter what mistakes we may have made.  She said that sometimes we just need to be willing and expectant, bring what we have to the table and see what God can do with us! Carrie certainly raised our spirits, boosted our confidence, and inspired us to keep going, embrace who we really are and bring that to our work within our toddler groups.

By the end of the day you could see that delegates were feeling encouraged, motivated, valued and free to be the people they were meant to be. So look out toddler groups – we’re coming back energised, full of new ideas and ready for another year!

A massive thank you to all of the Playtime team for an inspiring day. I’m looking forward to Playtime 2016 – I’ll be booking my early bird ticket soon!