Playworkers on tour

If you want more stories from our Canada tour, look here.

If you want more personal reflections from the road, I sometimes do this newsletter thing.

At tour locations, the three of us get up on stage together, unpack and repack cardboard boxes together, eat dinner with hosts and walk cities in search of dessert.  But in the car, I tend to nestle in the backseat and write blog posts or edit courses in the Pop-Ups pipeline.  Whatever we’re doing, it’s all about helping to grow the play movement, signpost great ideas and resources, and support individual organizers however we can.  It’s all different, all the same, and all important.

Sometimes it’s answering the same questions over and over.  How did you three meet?  Our answer offers one example of building community around an idea.

Sometimes it’s providing language that people need.  Play cue, return, frame.  Adulteration.  This last one raises eyebrows sometimes, provokes a familiar and uncomfortable chuckle.  Ohh, we can hear them think.  I DEFINITELY do that.

We repeat what people need to hear, the things that are easy to say and hard to live up to.  Play is important and special.  Children’s play is neither for us nor about us; it belongs to them.  People need specific ways to support play without directing it.  They need reflective prompts for those in-the-moment alarms.  They need stories of people who have done things differently, and what happened next.

I love this work, and feel honored to be part of a Playwork Welcome Wagon.  We go all over and meet people who are new to this field, give them a pile of new ideas and junk, and say “yes, come on in, let’s do something marvelous together”.  At pop-ups too, it’s so much fun simply saying ‘yes’ to children.  Yes, you can tape that saxophone to that cable reel.  Yes, I see you on that tower of milk crates and no, I won’t be shouting at you to get down.  Yes to whole rolls of duct tape, to smashing boxes.  Yes to taking that jetpack you made home.

Yes, yes to all of it.

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