When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and the UK went into lockdown, we immediately set about devising ways to tackle the social and educational inequality caused by young people experiencing digital exclusion. It is estimated that 1.9 million households have no access to the internet whilst a further 25.9 million are using pay-as-you-go services.
Conceived by Nadia Iftkhar and illustrated by dancer Jem Clancy, Dance in an Envelope is a free, non digital dance game for children aged 3-7 and their grown ups to enjoy together, during lockdown, self isolating or at times when leaving their home is more difficult. Importantly, it can be used and enjoyed by those with no access to the internet, and by those with English as an additional language.
The game has been designed to help with language and phonics; to keep children physically active and creative during a turbulent time; and as an activity to encourage children and their grown ups to connect and play together through fun and liberating movement.
‘This Dance in an Envelope is amazing!!! I’m so sick of squabbling over toys and this brings focusses them to play together. It’s great for language and how we can feel that in the body, and understanding how we move can affect others. It made us all really positive and it’s a game that we can all play together that won’t end in tears!’
Company of Others has distributed 4225 packs since March 2020 to children in Byker, Walker and Gateshead with the support of Well NewcastleGateshead; to North Yorkshire supported by Rural Arts; and to Barnsley supported by Arts Council England and Barnsley Museums.
‘I really liked the game and the children really do too. It was a huge success, nearly all had played it and most still did. They loved the family time together and were having great fun!’ Head Teacher
‘My little boy has absolutely loved it, he has reached for them regularly.’
We created Dance in an Envelope to reach as many digitally excluded children as possible. We can tailor it to any area and organisation. If you would like to order some packs for children through your organisation please get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com