Posted on February 25, 2017
Holding space, Belonging to Place and Letting Play!
I love children!
I have worked with babies, children and youth as a teacher, caregiver, nanny and mentor for over 20 years now. Throughout this time, and especially over the last 12 years since I gave birth to my son, I have also enjoyed observing and photographing children of all ages (including adults) learning through play, through attachment and belonging to place, to land, to community and to loved ones, thriving through this freely chosen, autonomous engagement with each other, and with their surroundings.
On this journey, my photography has been an incredible resource for me, as a document and testimony to the power of play and attachment. I am coming to name this, just now, embodied play, embodied learning. Enriched by my studies of Forest School, Coyote Mentoring, Play Work, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio, Tinkering School, Peak Experience, and Parkour or Big Impact Play, I am stunned daily by the lack of movement, the lack of engagement with place, with space, with natural environments, rural, farming work, chores, and urban architecture, design and landscape. All around as teachers are struggling to get student sot stop moving and pay attention, students with diagnosis, get special chairs. Meanwhile, adults and children alike sign themselves up for sports, yoga, martial arts, contact dance, bouldering, indoor parkour, pilates and more to compensate for our sedentary, crib, car-eseat, desk, sofa life-styles.
What is embodied play learning? Why do we exist in space, with all of ours muscles, tendons, bones aching to move, our nervous system tingling and alice, our sense attuned to so many external stimulus? And, yet we send them to school…..
Waldorf education spas of proprioseption…
Montessori of the prepared environment…
Reggio Emilia of the environment as third teacher…
We pay big money to get our over-active children into bouldering, martial arts or parkour, why not just let them climb trees?
Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful to be payed to hold space for children’s embodied play, children’s innate exploration and creativity outside of the classroom! I love, love, love doing Mini Photo Play Sessions, where the whole family gets into some embodied play, and those eyes sparkle and natural smiles ignite as the endorphins flush through….
But I thought I’d just let you all know that alongside this work with children and families, my other passion is to tell stories, to shift perception, to get more of us out there in the big old work, wild, rural, or urban to play, full-bodied, embodied, attached to place.
#ForestSchool #CoyoteMentoring #PlayWork #Montessori #Waldorf #Reggio #TinkeringSchool #PeakExperience #Parkour #BigImpactPlay #applestarlearning #applestarphoto