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Track 13 – What is play?

So your working in a playwork provision, you're creating a play space you're supporting children’s play, but do you really know what play is? 3 respected playwork writers will take you on a journey of understanding

Room 13
What is Play?It is often suggested that play is about process rather than product, and sometimes that play is about the here and now, rather than the future.

Referring back to the eleven play value assessment categories introduced in the Playwork Theory and Practice book, I will explore the idea that play is about all of these things, and more.

I will also be exploring whether it is at all helpful to ask the question ‘what is play?’
Level: Getting Started / Length: 1 hour / Time: 9:30 - 10:45
Play isPlay Is

Play is many things, though ultimately play is full of paradoxes; as a beginning statement, it may be both finite and infinite players (Carse 1986), depending on the mode of the players. There are many definitions of play and playing that support, contradict and challenge one another. Some of these are:

The universe is at play, the God-given spirit of lila pervades everything

Evolution has caused certain types of behaviour to arise and play is one of those

Minds develop in structured ways, becoming more logical and rational as they leave playful things behind

Land and natural resources are commodities and must be developed to create a profit; children are attracted to the many versions of electronic play created by the market

Play is of the moment; an everyday phenomena that changes according to context and intent

Play is a way of learning, a way of preparing for adulthood

Play is
Level: Give me more! / Length: 1 hour / Time: 11:15 - 12:15
Wha tis Play?That is one question for which there are many answers.

Come to the session and look at some of these answers and consider how they correspond to your own ideas.

You are part of the answer.
Level: Moving on / Length: 1 hour / Time: 12:30- 13:30
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