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.
The videos of talks by the team, and our guest speakers, earlier this year at our symposium on pandemic play are now published online. Please read on to access them directly from the blog… You can also see them all in a Vimeo Showcase (a playlist, in other words!).
The Play Observatory Team has some exciting news!
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!)…
In part 3 of her review of a year of play in the pandemic, Yinka Olusoga talks about autumn 2020, the return to school and the experience of celebrating calendar rituals during a pandemic.
In the first of our guest blogs, Dr Ceri Houlbrook takes an imaginative journey into the future, asking how children's play during the pandemic could be interpreted through the physical, material objects they've created at this unusual time.
As a researcher interested in what young people make with digital media I'm looking forward to knowing if and how children have responded to the pandemic through the medium of film. We'd welcome any movies you've made whilst playing during the pandemic.