With the imminent launch of our first book on the horizon, we have taken some time to think about what exactly it is that we do here at Straight Zigzag and whether the general public, parents, teachers, au pairs, aunties and uncles, grandparents, and anyone involved with children, are ready for the message that the book brings.
When the play company was an undercurrent for many of our plans for the future but not yet a reality, we felt like the ideas we wanted to share with the world were straight forward and original. We had one aim: to make people realise the value of spontaneous play before this skill and activity was lost to a world of busy-ness. Now that it’s all written down, I have come to see that even those who are advocates for play might not all be on the same side. We have the pro-play in all its forms team, who will schedule activities in each of the following categories: gross motor, fine motor, construction, creativity, role play and imaginative play. Then we have the spontaneous play team, who promote leaving kids to their own devices and stopping just short of anarchy. We have the no-tech hippies who believe technology is robbing children of real life, and the gadget freaks who insist on buying every interactive screen to ensure that their children are not left behind.
In all this to and fro of who’s right and who’s children will turn out best, it’s important to remember why we argue for one side or the other. What is it that motivated you to chose a side? Was it a knee-jerk reaction to something the Jones’s bought or said, or did you come from a place of searching for a better sense of balance in your own life. Before anyone stands on a soap box it’s good to acknowledge that the world as we know it is changing at such a rapid rate that we all clutch at the straws of certainty. We want to be assured that our method is best, and that our children will turn out okay.
The comforting message of the book is this: children are resilient, and if left to their own devices, will figure out a way. They will learn what they need to know and they will meet their basic needs. Give them space, an imagination and gravity, and relax. EGBOK.
[For more information on Playvolution: The Ultimate Guide to Developing Valuable Experiences Through Play please visit www.playvolutionbook.com]