PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years)

Pacey’s national co-ordinator contacted us about providing a workshop at their national conference after attending one of our sessions facilitated by their regional leads in Barnsley. They required a dynamic and stimulating presentation reviewing traditional perspectives on childhood and play and critiquing those in comparison with more recent literature and research evidence.

As a consequence we developed a presentation style version of a workshop we often deliver called ‘Play: The Importance of the Seemingly Frivolous’, delivering it in the end to almost ninety delegates in the main conference hall. Participants were encouraged to consider the impact and implications of practice influenced by dominant perspectives on childhood and play that focus predominantly on instrumental value. In comparison to this alternate perspectives were introduced in which it is the functionality and processes of playing which contribute additional benefit to children’s lives and developmental trajectories, the type of play where the ‘sense’ is often in the ‘nonsense’. We concluded with a recommendation that a combination of modern and post-modern praxis presents a pluralist offer that may best meet children’s play and developmental needs.

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