Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's been too long...

It's been a very long time since I've posted anything here - life has been very busy and it's had to take a back seat to other priorities.  

But this morning I have been writing my part of a conference paper that I am presenting at the 2014 IPA Conference with my fellow colleagues at Nature Play Solutions, Wendy Seymour and Emma Lawrence and, now in a good writing rhythm, have decided to re-visit my long neglected Nature of Play blog.

The theme of our conference paper is about the benefits (and challenges!) of working within a multidisciplinary team.

This has presented a great opportunity to reflect on what we each bring to the team; how we approach our goal to see children - of all ages - have access to quality play experiences; and how our approach and range of services has evolved over time.

When Emma, an OT and her husband Chris established Nature Play Solutions, their vision was to provide children with great outdoor play experiences - through the development of nature-based playspaces. 

Since then, the team has grown to include people with backgrounds in community development, landscape architecture, horticulture, playwork and teaching; as well as a comprehensive construction team that includes landscapers, carpenters and stonemasons.

The range of services we provide now includes playspace design and construction; outdoor play and playspace consultancy and professional development; and an array of creative, free play experiences, both as one off incursions, or as permanent features, as in the case of loose parts play and mud play.

As we've noted in our presentation paper - we don't always agree on the exact route to take towards our shared goal, but our shared respect for the value of the expertise each team member brings helps to work through these differences.