Licketyspit’s Children’s Rights-based Approach

Drawing on the affinity between children and actors as play experts, we have developed an approach
that puts children at the heart of everything that we do, and aims to put them at the centre of their
families and communities too.

Our shows and projects have always been devised with children, because we know that the best experts
in children’s theatre are children! We now consult regularly with Play Champion children in our Children
& Families Network, as well as consulting all of our participants through Reflective Drawing at the end of
every session, informal  interviews with children and parents, individually, in groups & via feedback forms.

Licketyspit uses a rights based approach to working with children, drawing on the UN conventions on the Rights of the Child, particularly Article 13 and 31:

Article 13

  1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom
    to seek, receive  and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers,either orally,
    in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s

Article 31

  1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and
    recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural
    life and the arts.
  2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural
    and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities
    for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.

FILM: Have Your Say Through Play

Using these rights as our foundation for working with children, their families and schools, Licketyspit consults
children about everything we do. We also deliver Have Your Say Through Play sessions where the Lickety Playcards are adapted to explore things affecting children, including UNCRC Incorporation and their experiences of the pandemic.

The children in the CFN have highlighted many rights as being important to them, particularly salient have been the right to learn, right to play, freedom of expression, right to a safe home, right to food and right to minority language and culture.

Licketyspit also makes reference to the aims of GIRFEC and the social care inspectorate in order to advance our practice and keep up to date with relevant policy and standards.

Have Your Say Through Play

Have Your Say Through Play was developed by Licketyspit and our Children & Families Network in September 2020, as a model for play-based consultation with 3-12s using the Lickety Playcard repertoire. With support from Dr Soumi Dey and the Ethnic Minority National Resilience Network, Licketyspit piloted this session model with 12 play champion children exploring their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic, using the games Flying Balloons, Sent a Letter to my Love and Reflective Drawing.

Children’s Experiences of the Covid-19 Pandemic

September 2020

Scottish Government Guests

It’s listening to children directly like this that makes the job worthwhile.  Really interesting to see how the medium of play can help children open up and share their thoughts, concerns and aspirations.

Rights & Participation Team, Scottish Government

I wanted to thank you for a wonderful hour of zoom with you yesterday. I had a lot of fun and was inspired by the creative and engaging activities. 

Rights & Participation team, Scottish Government

It was great to see the children’s imagination sparked and also hear some of their reflections on life. 

Rights & Participation team, Scottish Government

I have just joined the children’s rights team in Scottish Government, so being part of yesterday’s session was special for me. It connected me with a sense of what rights mean in practice…Next time I’ll make more space for the dancing or balloon journeys. Thank you!

Rights & Participation team, Scottish Government

Dr Soumi Dey

These are the responses which give a general sense of how the children dealt with the lockdown and how eager they are about returning to school and getting companionship from their Licketyspit sessions. 

Dr Soumi Dey, ESOL, Children's Literature & Emotional Literacy

They have missed the routine of school and of doing simple things like playing outdoors, looking at nature, and go to a friend’s house to play and hangout. Imagination has been a huge source of stimulation and respite from the months trapped indoors. 

Dr Soumi Dey, ESOL, Children's Literature & Emotional Literacy

UNCRC Incorporation Scotland Bill – Licketyspit Consultation Submission

September 2020

Licketyspit’s professional submission to the Scottish Parliament Consultation on the UNCRC Incorporation (Scotland) Bill. Click to download:

UNCRC Incorporation Scotland Bill – Children’s Consultation

November 2020

As part of the Scottish Parliament’s Consultation on the UNCRC Incorporation (Scotland) Bill, we introduced these children to the key rights in the UNCRC and invited them to participate in two online play sessions to explore them –Have Your Say Through Play. The second of these was also attended by members of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee, as part of an initiative by Together (Scottish Children’s Rights Alliance), which also involved the Children’s Parliament.

12 Licketyspit Children & Families Network members took part in these sessions, where we played the multi-lingual Hello Game, Lets Bake a Rights Cake and What’s the Time Mr No Rights Wolf before sharing Reflective Drawings in the Lickety Gallery. These adapted Lickety Playcard games explored the rights most important to the children and their experiences of them.

This is what they said:

CFN Children

Our rights are like because long long time ago, children had to work very young and work in factories and sometimes children get hurt or get killed because of that. So our rights nowadays are to make the world safer for children and for children feel that they actually belong and to make children feel that they’re safe in the world so they don’t start doing things.

Child, 10

Rights are something that you can do. If someone says to you, you’re not allowed to go to school or you’re not allowed to study, which is not good because you have the right to go to school and get an education.

Child, 9

In the Rights Cake I would put in a big bag of haribos and a big massive jar of Children have the right to get protection, so that people won’t kidnap them.

Child, 7

In the Rights Cake I want to put Freedom of speech!

Child, 9

In the Rights Cake [I want to put] 20 bars of chocolate and a big massive bag of right to privacy – so if you’re like changing we need privacy to change. And also like sleeping, you don’t want someone to be watching you when you’re sleeping, or if you wanted to think or like thinking or reading in your room then you need the right to privacy.

Child, 10

CFN Children

Children should have the right to play, children should have the right to learn

Child, 10

In the Rights Cake I want to put the right to learning and maths and to learn a language.

Child, 5

People have a right to choose what they want to eat.

Child, 6

In the Rights Cake I want to put the right to be together!

Child, 9

I have the right as a child to be what I want to be in future! 🙂

Child, 6