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.
In this guest post, artists Helen Kwok and Chad Toprak discuss Street Tape Games, playable art installations designed around social distancing.
Julia Bishop examines some of the myriad ways in which children have adapted their touch chase games of Tag during the COVID-19 pandemic, and considers the possible significances of this process.
As of August 2021, we are two thirds of the way into the data collection for the Play Observatory and we're delighted with the range and diversity of contributions we've been receiving about children's and young people's play experiences during lockdown times. John and Michelle reflect in this post on the story so far and invite people to keep contributing (or do so for the first time!)…
Over the past year, clubs and organisations have offered children opportunities to get together despite the difficulties of lockdowns and social distancing. Here Ragi Desai, a Cub Scout Leader from Sheffield, gives us an insight into her experience of running her pack online during the pandemic.
In this guest post, Pam Jarvis reflects on parents' and children's experiences of school closures and home schooling, asking what may change post-pandemic.
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.