After over a year of bouncing, swinging, twisting, turning, sensing and feeling with many many curious young people, Stick-Stuck: a curious place to play! has gone to bed for a long rest.
Stick-Stuck: a curious place play! 2014-2015
Stick-Stuck: a curious place to play! were creative multi-sensory play spaces for children on the autistic spectrum and who have complex needs. Stick-Stuck! offered inclusive places were children can play and discover the sparks of friendship. Illuminating these sparks – words were not needed but looks, sounds and moving around were invited to join in!
“Playing like this in a way where he can engage, the way he wants and is happy, is fantastic to see. He is much calmer” Teaching Assistant at Trinity School. Summer 2014
The play spaces were prioritising the kinaesthetic sense, sensing through moving and understanding the world through-the-body. As a trainee Feldenkrais practitioner (2011-2015), my arts practice and the way I was working with children and teenagers who require more support was embedded with Feldenkrais principles and philosophies.
“Moving around helps him listen. He gets excited when he sees you, he walks calmly with you and he listens more when he’s back in class.” Teacher at Trinity School. Summer 2014
The nature of Stick-Stuck! was to encourage child-led play in a safe, inviting environment. Invitations to play were for two or three children at once, depending on needs. Two or three facilitators were part of the play spaces when it was in full swing. All facilitators had a performing arts background, training and expertise in play and working with children and young adults in a creative environment. Two were Feldenkrais Practitioners who worked with special needs children in their private practice.
“It’s been a busy morning but now he has his space to play, bouncing, lots of [gym] balls to bounce on, he loves it. He is listening much more now” Teacher at Trinity School. Summer 2015
Stick-Stuck! had been successfully inviting children at Trinity School, Essex, UK, to play between July 2014-May 2015. Pupils were chosen by the school and have complex disabilities and challenging behaviours, some professionals might use the term ‘hard to reach or hard to engage’. Inviting them to play in a curious place, using their abilities, their movement capabilities, complemented their school-based learning and was received with smiles, happy sounds, and softening in their behaviours, in turn improving their sense of self.
‘Thank you Louise for looking out for my class this year. It has been great for my students to work and play with you and your team. They have loved all of it. Who knows we may see you next year.” Teacher at Trinity School. Summer 2015
In summer 2014 Stick-Stuck! invited more curious children to play during their summer scheme at the Westminster Society for People with Learning Difficulties.
“Watching her rolling around, playing on her own with the space blanket…gives me some more ideas of what she can do, she really loves the noise of the space blanket and being out of her chair. To see she was moving around a lot was nice. Thank you, can we come again?” Teaching Assistant at Trinity School. Spring 2015