The play-café project: What would Froebelian play cafés look like? 

Kristina Konstantoni

Moray House School of Education and Sport 

This project builds on the work of two successfully funded projects: (1) that explored young children’s everyday lives and the realisation of their rights in times of crisis in Greece and (2) that explored family and staff experiences of play cafés in Scotland and Germany.

 

This project responds to priorities identified by children (0-8) and their families linked to: a) inequalities that children faced accessing and playing in public spaces, like community and business cafes, and b) the lack of high-quality play spaces for children and social spaces for families in informal public learning environments.

 

Building on the second project, which mainly focused on parent and staff perspectives, this project will focus on young children’s experiences and perspectives of play café spaces and will include a larger number of diverse families and staff. The project will also include the perspectives of children and families that may also face barriers in accessing public play spaces. This international project (Scotland and Greece) will investigate in more depth the current opportunities that children have to play in community and business play spaces and children’s families’, practitioners’ and staff experiences of these play spaces and their underlying principles and philosophies.

 

The project is interested in exploring the potential of Froebelian principles for new environments like play cafés and provide opportunities for high quality learning and education in informal settings. It will work with children, families and practitioners to co-design what Froebelian play cafés may look like in two contexts: Scotland and Greece, in order to respond to the diverse needs of each country and to support children’s play expressively and creatively.

 

This project addresses a significant gap in our understanding of children’s experiences of emerging play spaces in informal learning environments beyond the early learning and childcare institution. 

 

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