Tag Archives: childhood

Worried about the ‘zero risk’ approach to childhood? Relief is now just a click away

Cover image for No FearI am pleased to announce that my 2007 book No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society can now be downloaded direct from this website as a pdf, thanks to my publishers Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

I am also pleased to announce that the mighty Playscapes playground design blog will be offering No Fear as a free-to-download resource. The offer coincides with that blog’s publication of the first of a series of design-related pieces of mine which are to be reposted on the blog.

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Could this be the most play-literate PR video ever?

A couple of weeks ago the UK laundry brand Persil (known in many parts of the world as Omo) released a set of short videos called ‘Kids Today’. The aim is to give parents insights into the intrinsic value of play, using ‘point of view’ cameras to bring the viewer closer to the world as seen through children’s eyes. Here is the first, entitled ‘Play Face’.

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Hidden woods: a graceful, punchy reminder of the power of natural places

This video (words by Hollie McNish, video by film maker Ben Dowden) stopped me short with its power and rhythm, and the interplay between words and images.

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The death of James Bulger: a singular tragedy and a damaging landmark

One of the challenges of writing about the Bulger killing is confronting the enormity of what happened to James, and its catastrophic impact on his family. To hear the interview with James’s father Ralph Bulger on Radio Four yesterday morning is to hear a man driven to the very edge of self-destruction by the tragedy that befell him.

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“To be nowhere at home but in life itself”

dribble sculptureHere are some finely crafted lines on the role of adults in children’s education, from the German poet H H Dreiske:

One should teach children to dance
on a tightrope without a safety net,
to sleep at night alone under the sky,
to row a boat out on the open sea.

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Why do our childhood play memories matter?

Robin Moore Adventure Playground photo

Photo: Robin Moore

Playworker and blogger Morgan Leichter-Saxby recently posted a thoughtful three part series of pieces on the topic of play memories. She argued that, while the process of inviting adults to recall their childhood memories of play can be powerful, it needs to be done with care, and may not always be appropriate. I see her point, but feel the technique has a value that is hard to downplay.

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