The Whitworth, Manchester | Play Live

Lucy Turner

Early Years Producer, Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester

The Whitworth

University of Manchester Oxford Road Manchester M15 6ER United Kingdom

Family Friendly Museum Awards 2021 / Best Digital Activity



PLAY Live at the Whitworth



PLAY Live was created back in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as a way of taking the much loved Early Years programme online and into people’s homes, schools and nurseries. Throughout the Covid-19 restrictions PLAY Live ran every other week on Zoom and used art and play to promote creativity whilst providing much needed social and physical development opportunities for our youngest children.

“We love joining in these activities at home. It feels like lots of us are doing it ‘together’ even though we are apart” PLAY Live parent



At the height of lockdown over 550 people attended each session demonstrating the need for connection and interaction during such challenging times. The unstructured and child-centred ‘play’ in PLAY Live is what makes these sessions unique. PLAY Live is pioneering in its approach, striving to maintain a child-led, play-based approach to learning and a focus on process over product even when online.

“One of the best early years sessions I've ever been to, both online and real life. It was such a wonderful mix of art, music, movement and the senses” PLAY Live parent

Although the building is back open we still feel there’s a place for these online session. They have provided a bridge that enables us to reach out further and into communities we might not have managed before. So far over 4200 people have benefitted from these online sessions and we hope many more will continue to join us in the future.




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