Day 1 of Playscheme

26 Jul

I always feel like I learn loads when I’m working on a playscheme.

Today was the first day of the summer playscheme I’m working on. New people, new place, new children. On the way there on the bus, I was having a read through of the staff handbook and they listed the Playwork Principles there. I’ve read them lots of times but every time I read them I’m reminded of just how much of a different ethos Playwork has to classical childcare, and I love it.

Some highlights from The Playwork Principles are:

1 ) All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well-being of individuals and communities.

2 ) Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.

4 ) For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.

5 ) The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation on a space in which they can play.

7 )Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people on the playworker.

8 ) Playworkers choose and intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well-being of children.

I love playwork’s ability to REALLY listen to children. Through my 1-2-1 work I’ve been learning how to listen to children who don’t always say what they mean or even know what they want.

At playscheme today I learnt several things. Firstly, that actual children’s toys are no substitute for just mountains of craft making materials. Children’s imaginations are amazing. They don’t need plastic replicas in order to ‘go shopping’. Secondly I learnt that adults should not impose on children the right and wrong way to play with something. Some 9 year old boys started playing with the baby dolls only these babies were break dancing, spinning on their heads and pulling some serious moves. Another member of staff told them off saying they should ‘play properly’ with them.

 I’m sure there’ll be many more things learnt over the next 4 weeks of playing.

I’m looking forward to it.

Tomorrow is water fight time.


One Response to “Day 1 of Playscheme”

  1. kim July 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Loving it.. sounds just the right “guidelines” to allow children to play. Hope you have a wicked summer… wore your wreck collective t shirt at womad last night with my kilt and top hat.. looked fab.. thank you xxx

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