Thursday, 8 October 2015

Original Play

I have just been to a lecture this evening where Fred Donaldson talked about Original Play... from the very start of his journey into play 40 years ago.

There was very much that struck a chord with me... the importance of play, the need to release fear and let love guide decisions (as there are more choices available when thinking through love than there are when thinking through fear). That we can learn about children, humanity through play. The importance of imagination and the importance of feeling safe in order to play and learn.

There were times when I felt disconnected to his words - either I have not reached this place/space where he finds himself - or they are not on my play/learning journey, they were interesting words all the same...

If you are interested in learning more about original play... then why not take the time to watch this film and see what you make of it...

I feel I need more time to reflect... and to also reflect together with my colleagues who also attended - so I can get a fuller and richer perspective.

I come to this post again one and half years later... having reflected on this lecture several times.. I agree with the need for children to play, I agree that play fighting is a part of this play, and that we need physical contact, and also to learn limits... that it is play and not hurting each other...
BUT I struggled with his mysticism... the stories of being bitten through the hand while he played with hands but it let no mark because of the power and magic of play... that if we looked in one eye rather than the other eye of a person it would make the person and yourself feel different.

I also am not keen on the fact that he has chosen to trademark play... for me play is for everyone... this man who learned to play with children through experimentation says others should only play like this if they have gone to his courses. I struggle with play being made to be a profit for someone... sure that courses are an option to learn, but not a requirement for play.
BUT these are my personal opinions.
I think it is important that rough and tumble play is given a higher status within the play spectrum.

1 comment:

  1. Here there is another video, where F.D. shows a bit what he does.

    In my work experience I have worked as psychomotor educator in a center where we helped children with behavioural problem, for different reason but any situation was pathological and needed psychological treatment and medicine, children just needed to express themselves in a different way. They needed mostly physical contatct. It is not so easy for an adult to go back to his childhood and play as a child, mostly we play as an adult and we built our play with children with a scaffold inside us of right and wrong, judgement, sometimes also shame to show us as a child. This situation is both at home and at school, but in this last case we are always so committed to document, to produce things to show to the parents cause it seems that if we don't show something "concrete"/"material" we are not good educator.
    I think we should put down time to time our "tools" like pens, camera, notebook, etc...and sit more with the children, playing on the ground, giving more physical contact. We, as human being, need contact with others and through the contact we can be more sure cause we feel accepted. I have always played on the pavement with the children, this has brought to me time to time critics or "strange eyes" from other educators, but always good responses from the children, and this is what matters.