Risky Play: Why Children Love It and Need It | Psychology Today


Brilliant article, love the six categories.

I agree with Rob Wheway, a battle lost I fear, that we should say challenging play not risky play, but that is by the by.

All hail the new guru of risky play!

Teens Need Play, Too (Really, Humans Do) | Move TheoryMove Theory


Kwame speaking:

“We tell adolescents that they “play too much” and that they have to “get serious”. When they don’t study hard for school, we tell them that they need more of a sense of urgency about the world, without considering that this may be avoidance behavior or lack of engagement with the material.  Further, because we do this, they then tend to see themselves as “past play”.  I challenge that as well…”

Excellent. Seriously, do you as a playworker really cater for those older kids? And, hello my youth work chums, do you get that the yoof (still) need to play?

Read on…

I love Vonnegut, and I enjoyed his article when I read it in ‘Palm Sunday’ in 1984, but this piece of HBR fluff is a connection of illogic and overclaim

To Tell Your Story, Take a Page from Kurt Vonnegut​ http://feeds.harvardbusiness.org/~r/harvardbusiness/~3/gKaZm107iS0/

Read it, then ask yourself, what the drucker has this to do with bunny ears “big data”?

The Art of Wisdom and the Psychology of How We Use Categories, Frames, and Stories to Make Sense of the World | Brain Pickings


This is what I’m talking about.

If this blog is about anything, inbetween all the magpied shiny pretty things, it is about things that help with practical wisdom.

I hope that ‘irony’ is withering… Derek: Ricky Gervais waves goodbye to irony


Cool is bad. Quirk is good.

Sincerity is the new cool.

Believing in things is back.

Loveliness, as pioneered by Stephen Fry, is the new black.


I’m an independent and interdependent learner. I am not ‘self-taught’ nor am I an ‘autodidact’.

Thank you to this splendidly named author for telling me that.  I have always felt that those two terms were pejorative. In a very real sense, I have a PhD from the University of Life.


What Do Emotions Have to Do with Learning? | MindShift

This is how I teach!

”     Confusion, D’Mello explains, is a state of “cognitive disequilbrium”; we are mentally thrown off balance when we encounter information that doesn’t make sense. This uneasy feeling motivates us to restore our equilibrium through thought, reflection, and problem solving, and deeper learning is the result. According to D’Mello, engaged learners repeatedly experience “two-step episodes alternating between confusion and insight.” Back and forth, between perplexity and understanding: this is how the learning of complex material happens.    “


“Work is about a daily search for meaning as well as daily bread…”

As some of you may know, I am a huge fan of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.

(I still respect him, but I’m no longer a fan of Apple’s products. Not since MacOS 10.4 in 2005. Just so you know I’m not a blinkered fanboy.)

Now, here’s one reason why I rate Jobs, which you can file under: “Insanely Great!” his most famous catchphrase.

When the Mac was produced in 1984, he insisted, at significant extra cost, in having the names of all the engineers who designed it engraved INSIDE the case, where almost nobody would ever see those names. I was lucky enough to see them, because I once watched an engineer remove the casing. (Oh yes, circuit boards can be beautiful, why are most of them ugly?)

You can also file under: respect for the dignity of the work of other human beings.

Which leads me on to my next couple of stories.

Studs Terkel has been described as a historian and a sociologist but he prefers to call himself a “guerrilla journalist with a tape recorder.” He created controversy we’re told when Tony Blair resigned and he asked: “Why was he such a house-boy for Bush?” Studs Terkel died in his Chicago home on 31st October, 2008 at the age of ninety-six. He asked that his epitaph should be: “Curiosity did not kill this cat.”

He said:

“When you become part of something, in some way you count. It could be a march; it could be a rally, even a brief one. You’re part of something, and you suddenly realize you count. To count is very important.”

Working (1974), is his account of people’s working lives. Terkel wrote:

“Work is about

a daily search for meaning

as well as daily bread,

for recognition

as well as cash,

for astonishment

rather than torpor,

in short for a sort of life,

rather than a


sort of dying.”

This is an edited excerpt from the interview that opens the book:

(Mike LeFevre was thirty-seven in 1972). He works in a steel mill. On occasion, his wife Carol works as a waitress in a neighborhood restaurant; otherwise, she is at home, caring for their two small children, a girl and a boy...

“You don’t see where nothing goes. I got chewed out by my foreman once. He said, “Mike, you’re a good worker but you have a bad attitude.” My attitude is that I don’t get excited about my job. I do my work but I don’t say whoopee-doo.
The day I get excited about my job is the day I go to a head shrinker. How are you gonna get excited about pullin’ steel? How are you gonna get excited when you’re tired and want to sit down? It’s not just the work. Somebody built the pyramids. Somebody’s going to build something. Pyramids, Empire State Building-these things just don’t happen. There’s hard work behind it. I would like to see a building, say, the Empire State, I would like to see on one side of it a foot-wide strip from top to bottom with the name of every bricklayer, the name of every electrician, with all the names. So when a guy walked by, he could take his son and say, “See, that’s me over there on the forty-fifth floor. I put the steel beam in.” Picasso can point to a painting. What can I point to? A writer can point to a book. Everybody should have something to point to.”


taken from this PDF which I found on the net,

so you can too: StudyGuide-Working.pdf

A Study Guide Of WORKING

From the Book by Studs Terkel

Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso

Original Production Directed By Stephen Schwartz


IN THE WINGS Arts-In-Education Program



Saturday, May 8, 2009 @ 2:00 p.m.

Is technology killing children’s play culture, or breathing new life into it?


Hello readers,
to quote myself in the comments on this blog by T.Gill that I am reblogging, and you’ll have to read the reblogged blog to better get my drift:

“Playworkers notice [the richness, creativity and majesty of children's culture, that goes unnoticed most of the time].

”More than anyone else who works with children, more even than mum or dad or teacher, I humbly contend.

“The good playworkers do anyway; if not all of them, the poor benighted creatures that they are, so often victims of cuts, poor training, uncaring local authorities and so on.

”And what better guides for you[Tim Gill], as you roll up your sleeves and do some voluntary worker as a playwork helper, than my lovely chums at PATH (Play Association Tower Hamlets)?


”Things aren’t improving either, in this ‘age of precarity’ or as some insist, ‘age of austerity’. Lucky are the few playworkers who have any ‘job security’, much less a pension.


“I look forward to more of your excellent and insightful writings, Tim, especially in the field of playwork.

”Shameless plug – I’m running the ‘Ludic Salon’ for playworkers, and also two workshops, at the excellent National Playwork Conference in Eastbourne on the 4th and 5th of March, if any readers would be interested.

“One of the workshops will revisit two classic publications: ‘Best Play’ (which I believe a certain T.Gill was involved in), and ‘Making Sense – playwork in practice’.

[The other, a repeat of a groundbreaking session form last year, will look REFLECTIVE PRACTICE, through the lenses of storytelling, love, work, and play.]


Originally posted on Rethinking Childhood:

Just before Christmas, I was helping out at an after-school play session in a community centre in Tower Hamlets in East London. Eight-year-old Jane arrived, took a plastic mug from the kitchen, sat down at a table near me, and started clapping her hands and the table, and tapping and flipping the cup, in a repetitive, rhythmic routine.

Cup on a table in front of a boy

View original 914 more words

Out of sight, out of mind, out of the brain of Mr Chown, for your reading pleasure

Out of sight, out of mind.

Excellent blog by the wise Mr Chown. Sample quotes:

20 years on I still see signs of children playing out, unnoticed by adults. Surveys and questionnaires provide only a partial picture of children’s independent mobility. We need more direct observation and engagement with children and families in their own neighbourhoods, not just in schools, if we are to create policies to support children playing out and to measure their success.”

‘We have given up haunting the places where children play, we no longer have eyes for their games, and not noticing them suppose they have vanished’. Children’s Games in Street and Playground – Iona and Peter Opie.”

Out of sight, out of mind.

Teacher Tom: Everyone Protecting Everyone

Teacher Tom: Everyone Protecting Everyone.

When the girls came outside, the boys chased the girls chased the boys, wildly, around and around our outdoor space, all flushed and breathing hard, chasing without catching, everyone protecting everyone.”

The way he did it, honestly sharing his opinion, not adding any judgment,and the playful shuttle diplomacy he practiced, is pure playwork.

Shame that many playworkers don’t do it like this.

This is either because they aren’t allowed to, or they haven’t been shown, or, probably, they haven’t been allowed to learn how to.

The Narcissistic Injury of Middle Age – Atlantic Mobile


Typical. You wait ages for an interesting piece on the gaze, and them two come along at once.

The first was that weird, deep Aeon piece about looking at naked people (stop that sniggering at the back);

and here’s the second one, about looking at old people, who are, like, really gross? Because, they are like, really old, and stuff? EU.

What our minds do when we see someone’s body – Matthew Hutson – Aeon


This is one of the most mind-bogglingly complex, provoking and provocative, challenging, obtuse and abstruse pieces of thinking and reporting that I have ever encountered.

And I have encountered a lot. I actually, really, don’t know what to make of it.

What I do know is that it is important, in some way, or several or many ways, to me, and to other thinkers and writers of my acquaintance.

It is published by Aeon, probably the finest web salon we have on this poxy little planet that we have chosen to call, what was it again? Dirt? Soil? Ah hold on, I’ve got it, EARTH!

I’m sort of suggesting that you might want to try reading it?

And if you succeed, please come back and explain it to me.


A fascinating, anti-commercial rant about a thing of beauty, to whit, a colour: Viridian Green : Colour Anti-Specification


Viridian Green : Colour Anti-Specification


“Ever wonder why those Chagall prints in the glossy art books still don’t come remotely close to looking as good as the real painting? One of the factors is the pusillanimous colour gamut of CMYK – particularly in the blue range.”

“The focus of contemporary corporate identity is colour.”

(For example: Cadbury’s purple or Coke’s red.)

“In a corporatist society such as ours, how corporations see colour is how we are all expected to see colour. What are the implications of this?


”Colour, in reality, is an infinitely complex and varied set of subjective human experience. To fit colour into their reductionist worldview, corporations try to nail colour down – to redefine it as something that can be owned and controlled.


“ “Blue is modern and cool, exciting and dynamic, and most importantly, it’s a color that powerfully communicates refreshment,” said Mr. Swanhaus [Pepsi-Cola Company's senior vice president of international sales and marketing] “Ultimately, we believe that owning bluewill give us a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace”.http://pepsico.pcy.mci.net/web_pages/pcnews5.html (emphasis mine).”


“Their methods for doing this are primitive and anti-poetic, but have become widely accepted as the contemporary way of seeing colour – hues are specified according to the constraints of filthy, industrial revolution technologies, based on poisonous dyes and clanking machinery.”

“Why is this way of seeing colour not Viridian?”


and to find out why not, click this link, then come back and comment, if you desire to.



“We don’t promote risky play” Nor should you.

“We do not encourage risky play at Woodland Park.

We don’t even encourage play for that matter.

We simply provide a slice of the world: space, a variety of interesting materials, and, of course, other kids.

The children take it from there.”

Gosh – wise words from someone who isn’t even a playwork writer!