Play as Radical Practice Toolkit

1 Mar 2017

Artist Albert Potrony worked with children aged three and four years-old to investigate the value and possibilities of free play in the school system and challenge what it means to be school ready.

Taking up residence at The Portman Early Childhood Centre, Albert developed a kit of multiple parts using transparent sheets, reflective roll, foam tubes, circles and triangles sourced from DIY shops and scrap stores. Over 12 weeks the children used and adapted the materials and developed their own lines of enquiry. They used cord as a tool to tie-up adults, roofing material to create space rockets and mirrors as stepping stones.

Reflective discussions with children, parents, teachers and play workers centred on questions of chaos and control, the effects of standardisation, the significance of relationships and the importance of space for play.

Albert translated images and conversations from the project into the Play as Radical Practice Toolkit, designed to support early educators to form solidarities with the children they work with and advocate for free play in the state school system.

Changing Play is an ongoing partnership with the Portman Early Childhood Centre in Westminster which brings together artists, children, families and educators to critically reconsider early years education and care.

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