Memories of Play: A Celebration of Play with the Wilderspin National School
This year, the Wilderspin National School Museum is feeling playful, and why not? The school’s founder, Samuel Wilderspin more or less created the holy grail of a child’s school day that is playtime, spreading it to all of the schools based on his Barton model and eventually to the whole education system.
To commemorate this great leap forward the museum school has produced a pamphlet on people’s memories of play together with local author and teacher, Sue Wilsea. She and the other volunteers at the Wilderspin National School have followed in Wilderspin’s footsteps by looking at the importance of getting outside and playing during childhood, asking people young and old what they remember about play.
Mrs. Wilsea gave us a few tasters of what’s in the pamphlet, and there’s some good news. “There’s a commonly held belief that children today don’t play outside nowadays, that they’re just staring at screens and things. We found this to be completely wrong. So much about play hasn’t changed. For example, hide and seek has been played for a very long time, although it has been given different names over the years.
“Collecting things is another favourite thing that almost every child does at some point. It never changes”
I had to agree. I collected a fair few Pokemon cards in my time. Before this, children gathered stamps and more recently the Pokemon hunting children have been brought outside again, collecting the same colourful critters that now seem to hang around on our streets thanks to the Pokemon Go app.
The fact is that children love to play outside. Samuel Wilderspin realised how important this is, and now Mrs. Wilsea and the researchers at the Wilderspin National School are helping us to remember how important it was to us.
The pamphlet is available from the Wilderspin National School as part of the Playtime Memories Project, which includes exhibitions, dressing up and, of course, playtime!
- Memories of Play
- Sue Wilsea
- Wilderspin National School