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Making for Play

by James on November 23rd, 2015

Knight on HorebackWhile I was on Adoption Leave, the only making I did was for my son. His main passion is role play, and he regularly puts in orders for something he needs whilst fighting baddies.

When I’m working with children I’m doing as little as possible for them, offering support and guidance whilst ensuring that the making and ownership is largely theirs. With my boy, he generally isn’t interested in the making, the priority is getting the right protective gear/mask/weapon whilst the role play is still ‘live’, and I am a handy props creator, his technician in the creative process.



To me these look a little like simple folk art. Sometimes they are just what he wants and they get played with for months with regular repairs (like the cardboard tube sword). Other pieces of wearable artwork (armour for a knight, Superman chest-plate etc) have been lost or worn into oblivion, whilst on other occasions it takes me ‘too long’ and by the time its ready he’s already moved onto something else (e.g. the Fireman Sam breathing apparatus made from gaffer tape and a sausage tray).

These are some of the things we have made and which are still surviving…

Bumble bee mask

Fireman Sam Breathing Mask

Cardboard gun

Crab claws


Knight Mask


Gun 2

Lion Mask


From → Art & Parenting

  1. Jo Bell permalink

    I find this ever so moving Jonathan – to see the ‘relics’ without the boy inside them reminds me of looking at artefacts when I was an archaeologist. You knew that these objects carried stories and meanings and personal history, without being privy to it. Glad to see that your family is enjoying play and learning in so wide a sense. Jo X

    • Thank you Jo, I really appreciate your comments, it’s harder obviously for me to get that distance in order to see them as you do, akin to artefacts discovered from another culture but I know exactly what you mean and love that you make that connection.

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