Amanda and I attended the national conference on Play at at Eureka on Jan 14th.There were some interesting keynote speakers from Leeds Met including Pat Broadhead who has the fabulous position of Professor of Playful Learning!
The very strong message was that play is important for children of all ages and that it should underpin all areas of learning. At Leeds Met Pat is involved with early years settings in developing play opportunities and mapping learning outcomes to help build the case for more play based learning activities.
The afternoon workshop sessions included one delivered by Mike Wragg, senior Lecturer in Play at Leeds Met where we were (safely) given the opportunity to literally play with fire! In groups we used chicken wire and a variety of materials to create a ‘picture’ which we then squirted with paraffin and set on fire! Not something you do every day and certainly not something young children would encounter.
A really worthwhile day which has inspired me to look more into the research about play / national play strategy and use it in my own practice. We definitely all need mor e play time!