(på svenska efter alla bilder) In October 2018 I visited two "I Ur och Skur" preschools on Lidingö, just outside Stockholm City.
I Ur och Skur means directly in hour and shower (UR is an old word for clock, or a word outside, or original as urskog means virgin forest (original untouched forest) - it can also be translated as the saying Rain or Shine - as in "come rain or shine" = no matter what. And that is the ethos of this approach... that the play and learning can be outs
Since my visit to Anji, China in May I have been sharing posts containing images of the settings for 3-6 year old children. These posts have been met with excitement and also apprehension... this idea that it feels impossible... that level of risk, that kind of play would never work here, people are too afraid.
I want to point out that this is very much the case in China too. The kindergartens in Anji that are using the AnjiPlay pedagogy are very divergent from the norm of
This is another post inspired by my time in China and my visits to the AnjiPlay settings. This post will focus on the construction materials... and really part of me has kind of been putting this post off because there is JUST SO MUCH to write and share about this... So I know that this post is not going to really be able to do justice to the materials and how they are presented and used... I think the first thing that really hits you is the sheer amount of materials that are
While I was in Anji, China it was very obvious that the ladder was a symbol of play and freedom... a bamboo ladder is also the actual logo for AnjiPlay... When you see them in action you can also see why this is the case. The children are free to use and play with them in a myriad of ways. The fact that there are different lengths of ladders and were offered in different materials (pine or bamboo) is also testament to this... Ms Cheng (who is the founder of AnjiPlay) wanted n
Over the years I have worked in places that have had dysfunctional groups as well as groups that have played well together. I have often reflected over what makes a group work. How do we support a functional group? How do we give children the freedom to play?
I define a dysfunctional group as stressed, focussed on the problems of maybe one, two or more children disrupting play for whatever reasons so that play does not flow as usual.
It made me realise just how much struc
As I look back and reflect on my experience in Anji County, China and visiting the AnjiPlay kindergartens/preschools I wonder about my own approach to something new and i realise that it ties in with my observations of preschoolers at new locations... When I take a group of preschoolers to a new space (whether it be a play-space, forest, museum etc) what I see is that the children have a desire to look around, the do not settle into deep play as they usually do in a space fam
This is the first in a series about my visit to China to learn about AnjiPlay...
This and coming posts will be my process of sorting my thoughts and reflections of my experience and my interpretation os what i heard and saw. To learn more about AnjiPlay I recommend that you go direct to the source and learn from those in Anji actively engaged in this play focussed pedagogy. True Play is not about children's free play... free play is outside an educational institution. This i
This post was first written on the 17th January 2014.. I am now sharing it here on my new website, as I think it is still relevant, and it includes some new reflections and updates... Marc Armitage linked the story of a three year old child that had died at her preschool entangled in a rope on the slide...here is the link and the comments from others about that link...
Here is a link to the story in The Guardian that Marc had linked and the same story as it continues in the
On Friday I will be setting off from a rather chilly Stockholm, Sweden for the county of Anji in China - which is considerably warmer than it is here. I have been following AnjiPlay now for some years and have been captivated by the outdoor play scenes and the equipment that they have chosen to
you can read here about the Anji Approach to children's rights in their play - True Play. That is the name of the conference... The True Play conference... bringing together various
At the end of April in Sweden there is the Valborg celebration - where bonfires are lit around the country to give the sun strength and to sing and welcome spring. This year, like last year, spring has started unusually early here in Stockholm, but all the same there will be bonfires lit, sausages eaten and songs sung... Young children might not fully understand the whole process of the bonfire... if they are up late enough to see there fires... its a mix... I have seen plent
I am a big believer in play.
for me it is an essential ingredient in life. And for those of you getting to know more about my idea of Original Learning understand that learning is woven into the play, and that play is not woven into the learning like it seems to be (if you are lucky) in most school systems around the world. At the same time I am somewhat concerned about adults harnessing play in the name of learning. Play is a human right... it is something that is fundament
Often I feel that there is status in happiness. That success is measured in happiness - and that as parents and educators we should be striving towards making happy children... I have shifted from the word happy somewhat... mostly because how do you REALLY know if a child is happy... and that many children learn to fake to be happy for the sake of the adult... so I am not looking for happy children as a sign that my classroom/setting is of high quality
instead -what I look f
What looks like chaos to you might be a source of creativity to young learners, so don't be so quick to clear things away... Most often when people think of a Reggio Emilia Approach classroom or early years setting they think of a beautiful room, natural materials and an orderly aesthetic. And yes, there is an element of truth to this, but it is not the whole story. Learning is not orderly or aesthetic, it is organic and that means it can get messy, it can get chaotic, and th
Before we start I will say that I am very pro climbing trees... I climbed them as a child, and I encourage the children I work with (and my own children) to climb trees... so this post will be mostly about the benefits of tree climbing as I find it hard to not see the benefit of tree climbing...
But there have been times when I felt tree climbing feels like too much of a risk... I will check the terrain... if the child is to fall is the ground safe enough to fall on... for
So I thought I would put a few images together of some snow play... and share my snow play from yesterday... in fact I put a whole load of images and films into a a youtube film... as you can see below Taking lights and mirrors outside into the snow is a whole load of fun... just as taking paints outside is too.
Yesterday the temperatures were -10°C so the snow was light. fluffy and powdery - not good for building at all... but as the snow warmed up inside it transformed and
My last post, The End of Play, provoked more thoughts - not only in me but in others and questions were asked by several about whether adults could play with children or not... and what exactly is the impact of that play? And I think there is no one answer to this, because I think adults play with children in different ways... sometimes as a play leader, sometimes as a teacher (connecting the learning), sometimes as a follower of the play... but I think it is seldom adults ma
(på svenska efter bilderna) Why is it that some play is more valued than other kinds of play? Why are some kinds of play actively discouraged? is it because the play is dangerous, or bad or is it because as adult there is a tendency to feel threatened by the play... that the play is chaos, that as adults we lose control? Rough and tumble play is a form of play that often gets discouraged, and yet as a child it was one of my favourite kinds of play - it was also the play form