In our session for week 2, we spent the first short while feeding back from last week. There were some great comments and questions about play which led nicely into an experiment which I will describe here so you can try it at home.
Experiment in play - This experiment is for you! (And your partners if you can inspire them.) It’s simple but that doesn’t make it easy. Here’s what I asked everyone to do.
First, try and make time for this in your day when you don’t need to be somewhere or do something imminently. If your little one is playing happily nearby, that’s fine. In fact, you might want to try this more than once to see how it works for you in different circumstances.
Find an object or set of objects that attracts you and which you’d like to spend some time exploring. At home, it might be toys you have for your little one, or it could just as easily be a set of coasters, a basket of shells, or anything else.
Now, all you need to do is explore. What I mean by that is to focus your attention on your chosen object(s) and see what you can find out about them. You don’t have to think of it as play, but playing is good.
Spend as long as you can with this activity. After about 5-10 minutes, start to notice where your attention is. Notice what happens if your surroundings change - perhaps someone comes into the room, there’s a noise nearby, the phone rings.
There is no right or wrong in this scenario. I’m not going to tell you how this should make you feel. The intention is not for you to be a certain way - relaxed or childlike, for example - it is for you to notice how you feel, where your attention goes and what happens if your attention is drawn away.
Stop when you’ve had enough. If you don’t get to experiment for as long as you’d like, record how that makes you feel. If you can’t get into it because it feels odd somehow, or you struggle with your attention, record that.
If you finish with any ‘Aha’ moments, questions or observations which you’d like to share, please pop them in the form below.
Homework - If you feel inclined, please use your notebook to record your observations about the experiment, to reflect on how it might change your view of your child’s activities, and to make notes about anything that strikes you as you go through your week.
Finally for this week, here is an electronic copy of a document I gave out in class - Playthings.
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