An innovative pop-up play event giving children and families the time, space and freedom to design, build and play as they like has been given the thumbs up by Martin Whitfield MSP.

The former teacher joined ward councillor Shamin Akhtar at the Tinkertown experience at Letham Mains Primary School, laid on by East Lothian Play Association and The City of Play. Together they saw the excitement and ingenuity of local children as they used real tools, pallets and scrap timber to bring their ideas to life.

The open nature of Tinkertown offers children the opportunity to engage in a rarely experienced kind of play, using their imagination and ideas, learning about risk (within a managed situation), building physical and social skills and producing a piece of work which is inhabitable, autonomous and of their own making.

Speaking after his visit to the pop-up Tinkertown site at Letham Mains, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“The children I met at Tinkertown were having so much fun designing, building and decorating their imaginative creations. It was clear they were having a blast and their enthusiasm for their projects was infectious. This kind of creative free play, where children can learn in an unstructured way, is hugely important to their development.

“I want to say huge well done to all of the children who participated in Tinkertown, East Lothian Play Association and The City of Play for bringing the experience to Haddington and the staff and pupils at Letham Mains for hosting it and making everyone so welcome.”