Rain didn’t stop play during one recent session on a local estate. It had been cold and wet all day when we shuffled on site, and no children anywhere to be seen. It’s not uncommon for the children around here not to be allowed out during the rain – in spite of that being London’s default weather! But it was also Easter break and we could see so many little faces pressed up against the glass that we knew we were needed. One child shouted out that they’d be down, if the rain stopped.
We amused ourselves with the cling film (Saran Wrap) and washing up liquid we brought, damming a drain and making frothy islands and streams.
It was a world within the familiar, offering landscapes of bubbles and air pockets that rewarded examination. It was dynamic, changed by the breeze and subtle currents, it could be altered with a breath.
It was made with soap, rainfall and dips in old tarmac.
It was play.
All of this, the ripples and oily rainbows and the messy-clean play that followed once children joined us for fishing with homemade stick-and-string poles for paper trout and ferocious washing-up liquid battles, happened in an area only this big:
Play does a lot with a little. It makes the mundane magical. It costs nothing and can happen anywhere.
That’s the point, really.