Welcome to the Play Observatory! We’re making a collection featuring all kinds of children’s play during the pandemic and beyond - indoors or outdoors, onscreen or offscreen, playing, saying, doing, making. We are really interested in young people’s own views on their play during this unique time in history. Children and adults can send us pictures, videos, sound recordings, drawings or writing. Please play your part in the Play Observatory!
Kate Cowan explains the background to the Play Observatory and our aims for the project.
Schools played an integral part in the data collection of the folklorists Iona and Peter Opie as they explored the games and lore of children. Cath Bannister explains how teachers helped distribute the couple's surveys and gather play examples from schoolchildren, and invites todays' teachers and youth group leaders to follow in their footsteps with our new resources for schools and groups.
In this guest post Lucy Turner from the Whitworth gallery in Manchester shares ways they have supported play with babies and young children online throughout the pandemic.
Kate Cowan shares some of the research methods the Play Observatory is using to research online with children.
In this guest post, Xai Sandhu (age 10) explains the creation of HomeCool Kids magazine during lockdown, with input from XazQ Sandhu (age 12), Mahnoor Daoudi (age 10) and Aadam Rasul (age 12).
In this guest blog post, Anne O'Connor considers how young children absorb adult routines and rituals into their play, and what this looks like during the pandemic.
In the fourth and final blog in her series, Yinka Olusoga looks back on the play of the winter months and beginning of spring in 2021, and how the return to home schooling, the weather and the eventual lifting of some restrictions offered opportunities for play and creativity.