Hello and happy holidays to you all. I apologize for the lack of posts, but have been busy with an internship at the MN Children’s Museum and getting some much needed perspective.
This time, spent partially observing children in active play and engaged in learning while creating, has opened my eyes to the skills of active choice making involved in creative play.
Playing is learning for children and is directly derived from their ability to make assumptions, try them out, learn from them and engage in the decision making process with others. It is their opportunity to learn from, socialize with, engage in and develop their sense of self and to context that self within their understanding of the world.
This doesn’t really change all that much when you become an adult either, though adults get far less constructive and creative play time than children tend to. Creative play is one of the amazing elements exemplified in contact improvisation.
The video below captures perfectly the duality of play, creative choice making and learning:
Immediately, we see active choice making from the little one. At :18 we see a decision to find a connection, seek hand holds and shift weight in an appropriate way to execute that choice. At :21, :25 and :32 we see her decide to leave that position – even using “safe arms” on her way out, to maintain a physical connection with her partner, make independence choices away from her partner, but re-engaging contact. At :38 there is a serious test of trust between the two partners – trust that is rewarded with a brilliant series of movement in :50, 1:43, 1:55 and 2:43 and carries over to her new partner at the end of the clip. [Read more…]