A small but significant aspect of playwork practice has been quietly playing itself in and out of my thoughts lately (that is to say, if the playwork in question is of the flavour that involves children’s wishes for the adult to participate to some degree in the play). Here’s the scenario: a child (more often than not, in my experience, this situation will involve a single child rather than a group of them, but not always) has invited or ‘cued’ the playworker into the play of the moment (say, one-touch ‘wallsy’ football against the fence, pushing on the roundabout, some variations of catch and throw); the child shows the signs that they’re reasonably happy that they’re being supported in their play choices; the playworker plays along; the child just keeps repeating or reinventing the play so that the playworker is expected to stay involved and so that the play can…

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