What is Storyplay?
Storyplay is just what it says it is – playing with stories, anecdotes, characters, rhymes, jokes, singing songs and dressing-up in old clothes – the imaginary play that we all hopefully did as children, that many families share. Storyplay is relaxed hilarious, inventive and unselfconscious way of people playing together.
The Lickety Playcard games provide the scaffolding for this play, and a ‘reason’ to gather and play together.
What is the Storyplay Approach?
The way we lead Storyplay is as important as what we play. We collude with our participants.
We agree that – games are best when everyone is in the game; That all we need to play is each-other;That it’s important to manage turn-taking fairly, so that no-one worries about being excluded and everyone can relax and focus on enjoying playing. Play is best when there are no winners, losers or wrong answers. And above all play – and of course life too – is best when everyone knows that they will always be seen heard included and valued – because everyone has something equally great to bring to the game.
Storyplay celebrates diversity and equity – giving every participant what they need to engage and be included.
This work has shown us that we all need what children need – to feel welcome, connected and able to be ourselves. When we are in touch with our playful selves we feel stronger, we can be relaxed and at our most open – to other people, to new experiences and to new ideas.
The feelings we experience in play are real feelings. We can feel that we can be anyone, do anything, go anywhere! We can adventure! We can be brave! If we can do this in play, together with our families and our friends, then we are more able to do this in life!
Children need opportunities for independent play of course. But research is increasingly showing the real value of children playing with adults. Adults who want to play endorse the value of play for children & boost their self-esteem. Adults can also bring added dimensions to children’s play, supporting and developing their skills and understanding of how to play together successfully and fairly.
The value of intergenerational drama-led play or as we call it – Storyplay – is not yet fully recognised. What we see happening among the parents & children we play with, is that in a safe nurturing inclusive space, we can enable Storyplay to be a catalyst for all of our participants to overcome barriers to full participation, to relax, to increasingly nurture themselves and each other; to build their self-esteem, confidence, social skills and strengthen their relationships. They overcome language barriers and make intercultural connections.
As facilitators, we know that everyone wants to be included and Storyplay with us – even when it might appear otherwise .‘Play’ as a word and an activity is not given enough weight as a therapeutic tool away from the world of therapists and many adults have let themselves be persuaded they are not ‘creative’ or ‘good’ at drama. But when we talk about children’s rights and needs and accept how vital play is for every child, we must surely enable and support every children’s professional – and parent – to become a Play Expert.
We are increasingly offering Storyplay Training to other children & families professionals.
Find out about our Women’s Aid Storyplay Training here.
Read about other Storyplay CPD sessions here.
All enquiries about Storyplay Training should be directed to email@example.com.