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iP-D!P Study Tours - Sweden October 2013

Perry Else, Julia Sexton, Kate West, Teresa Clayton, Neville Buttery, Lily Holloway, Theresa Clayton

‘Just Enough’ Play – with Swedish Meatballs

70 years of socialism and fair taxes have created a ‘fair enough’ society in Sweden that we discovered on our tour in October 2013. We saw lots of inspiring play provision, heard about the Swedish approach to playwork and pedagogy and learnt some significant bits of Swedish – eld själ and lagom (fire-soul and just enough) – whose full meanings we will share with you. Lots of chart, lots of photos, lots of enthusiasm, come and ask us some questions! Our group included five parents, two playground activists (striving to save their local playground), three playwork practitioners, and three lecturers.

We went to Sweden to gain inspiration to develop participants’ knowledge and understanding of play, playwork and playwork training beyond the UK. This was facilitated by a programme organised cooperatively between Playwork Development and Training, the hosts and the participants.

The outline of the programme was organised by Playwork Development and Training, four days in Lund – Southern Sweden, four days in Stockholm, the capital.

After teleconferencing, the participants made their interests known to the hosts who then put together a detailed programme reflecting those interests.

The participants were introduced to a wide variety of settings and practitioners. The accommodation was in a family hostel in Lund and a hotel in Stockholm. There were occasional opportunities for group free time, though individuals took time as needed.

We visited around fifteen different sites and settings, talking to many parents, practitioners, designers and lecturers. That allowed us to see the Swedish experience first hand and to hear people’s personal views as well as compare settings directly without own experience. We participated in and led a discussion of the UK Swedish experience at Stockholm University, discussing policy and approaches.

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