Rugby mum teams up with Old Laurentians to create toddler play group with a focus on the outdoors

Leanne was inspired when she visited a similar group outside of the town

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 12:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 12:46 pm
Leanne with Mark Pawsey.
Leanne with Mark Pawsey.

A mum-of-two from Long Lawford has teamed up with the Old Laurentians to offer a 'stay-and-play' service which allows toddlers to get plenty of fresh air and exercise.

Leanne Humphries, 32, created ‘Sprogs and Logs’, because she wanted a safe, outdoor space in Rugby where she could take her two sons to play and meet other children.

Inspired by a similar stay-and-play group she had visited outside of the town, Leanne decided to set up the project locally and the first official session took place on Monday, July 5.

The proprietor of the group's café at work.

She said: “When I visited a similar stay-and-play session, it was just amazing.

I’ve never felt so relaxed in a toddler group before and I knew there and then, we needed one in Rugby.

“That group is over half an hour away, which is a long way to travel with a toddler.

"We haven’t got anything like it in Rugby and I felt like there was a need there.

“I know I struggle with my two being indoors all of the time but being here, outside, they’re free to roam and explore.

"After the year we’ve all had, we need to be outside more.

“I wanted to create something like this for my boys, so why not let other children and their parents enjoy it too.”

Rugby businesses were keen to be involved with the idea, with The Outdoor Wood Company creating many of the wooden toys for the project and The Corbett Creative Photography capturing the first few sessions.

The sessions, which are designed for children up to four years old, take place at the Old Laurentians RFC ground, just off Lime Tree Avenue.

There is a specific place for non-walkers and babies, as well as plenty of activities for toddlers and pre-school children.

From a pretend shop, playhouse, paint station, sandpit, water play, a toy digger, bug corner and a pretend fishing pool ready to be explored, there is plenty to keep the little ones happy.

“Old Laurentians is the perfect location for Sprogs and Logs. I’ve grown up in Rugby, so know the guys there really well.

"I was over the moon when I approached them to see if we could team up to make this happen and they agreed to let me use their grounds..

“Plus, it’s got a toilet on-site and access to a much-needed cup of coffee, so everyone is happy.

“I’ve had such great support from other parents already, saying that we needed something like this. The response really has been fantastic.”

Ahead of its official launch, Sprogs and Logs hosted a taster session on Thursday, July 1, which Rugby MP Mark Pawsey visited.

Mr Pawsey, himself a former OLs player, said: “This provides a safe and controlled environment for children to be exposed to the outdoors, getting their hands dirty and playing together. I think it’s brilliant,” said

“What I think is great, is seeing these children engaging with one another so well, especially after a few years of being indoors so much.

“It’s not just the children it’s benefiting either, it’s the mums and parents too. I’m a grandad and my daughter has a two-year-old, I know first-hand that parents have had a difficult time these past two years.

"Play sessions like these give mums that much-needed engagement too.”

Morning Sprogs and Logs sessions run 9.45am until 11am, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while afternoon sessions take place 1.15pm until 2.30pm, Tuesdays

and Thursdays.

Sessions cost £6 per child and can be booked online, by visiting: sprogsandlogs.onsidelive.co.uk/sign-in