Day of Play – CAP Conference Year One

On Saturday, October 5th, as part of the first Children at Play Conference at Bernheim, a small community of play advocates and children gathered to explore how children play when they are allowed the opportunity to interact with their environment in ways that most “fixed equipment” playgrounds don’t.  We provided lots of “loose parts” such as:

  • cardboard boxes
  • ropes
  • cut bamboo
  • ropes, strings and cargo webbing
  • straw bales
  • sticks, rocks and stumps
  • driftwood logs
  • canvas tarps
  • balls, plungers

We offered them knives and box cutters to use under supervision.  We helped tie knots and move heavy things when assistance was asked for. We gave them drums and buckets and brooms.  But mostly we stayed out of their way simply observing.  When children have the opportunity to fully interact with their environment they play in ways that look very different from the way they play in most playground environments.  They interact with each other more fully.  They make up rules and social contracts with one another.  They focus on a task and stay on focus for long periods of time.  They problem solve.  They problem create.  They put things together, including their thoughts, in creative and interesting ways.  Here’s a few pictures from the day.

IMG_0555 - Version 2IMG_0561 - Version 2 IMG_0572 - Version 2 IMG_0585 - Version 2 IMG_0556 - Version 2 IMG_0594 - Version 2

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