What is unique about playwork?

At the launch of the Playwork Foundation in November 2017, Professor Fraser Brown described the elements of playwork practice that he identifies as unique within the children's workforce, using playwork stories to illustrate each point. He has now followed up his presentation with an expanded paper, which can be downloaded below, while the list of unique elements is set … Continue reading What is unique about playwork?

An organisation that reflects who we are

When Penny Wilson was asked to speak at the recent Playwork Foundation launch event, she took her brief seriously; consulting with colleagues and deeply reflecting, both on her practice and on the chequered history of playwork representation. The result was this impassioned entreaty for an organisation that can do justice to the extraordinary work that … Continue reading An organisation that reflects who we are

The Play Cycle 20 Years On

 In 1998, Gordon Sturrock and the late Perry Else presented a paper at the IPA International Play Conference in Colorado, Canada.  The paper was titled ‘The playground as therapeutic space: playwork as healing’, later referred to as ‘The Colorado Paper’ and introduced the Play Cycle to playwork theory. In the last twenty years, elements of … Continue reading The Play Cycle 20 Years On

‘Youth vs. the world’

Like so many, Meriden Adventure Playground, in the West Midlands, is having to fight a rearguard action to preserve even its meagre level of funding. It faces an uncertain future; something not lost on its young users. These include a girl called Misha, who earlier this week delivered this message, via the playground staff, to the … Continue reading ‘Youth vs. the world’

Withdrawing qualifications is another blow to playwork

Play England has reported that CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education) has closed its Level 2 Award and Certificate, Level 3 Award and Level 4 Award and Certificate qualifications to new registrations. The other main awarding organisation, City and Guilds are also now only open for registrations of full Diplomas at levels 2, … Continue reading Withdrawing qualifications is another blow to playwork

Adventure playgrounds are too important to consign to history

A variety of recent projects in the arts, heritage and academic sectors have taken adventure playgrounds as their theme, bringing welcome attention to this important part of the UK play scene. However, cautions Adrian Voce, it would be a mistake, and a missed opportunity, if the surge of interest were to be predominantly nostalgic or … Continue reading Adventure playgrounds are too important to consign to history

Back to the (possible) Futures of Playwork

In 2007-8 there was an ambitious project to engage the playwork field in a dialogue about its possible future, and the structures it might need to get there. Here, Adrian Voce, who, as Play England's director, initiated the project, and Dr. Pete King, who has researched it, introduce Dr. King's 2015 paper about the initiative, which we are … Continue reading Back to the (possible) Futures of Playwork

How to start an adventure playground

(Reblogged from https://playeverything.wordpress.com)


Play Everything

There are some questions about adventure playgrounds that we at Pop-Up Adventure Play get asked a lot.

“What about liability insurance?”

“Who pays for these places?”

“Are they really safe?”

And, our favorite:

“How do I open one??”

When people ask this, flushed with new excitement, it’s worth taking a moment to step back and rethink the question.  On the one hand, we want to see as many adventure playgrounds as possible.  We’re thrilled to be part of this new wave of interest in adventure playgrounds, and to be helping those new sites with their staff training.  But more importantly, we want all adventure playgrounds to be great adventure playgrounds.

And that comes down to staffing.

Great playworkers can make the most of a site that is frankly crap, while uptight or apathetic playworkers can ruin the richest of environments.  We all share a burden of anti-child, anti-play education…

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Special, disabled or just unique? Language can be important, but attitude is everything.

  In this adapted re-blog from the First Discoverers website, Adrian Voce discusses the language of disability and suggests that attitudes and understanding, more than institutional terminology, are the key to supporting all children equally. Working with children who are deemed to have ‘Special Educational Needs’ or ‘disabilities’ (SEND), and their families, can, especially to the … Continue reading Special, disabled or just unique? Language can be important, but attitude is everything.