Seeing at Child-Scale Helps us Slow Down, Appreciate More, and Play

What does it mean to be a child in a city, or anywhere? How does a child see things? Quite differently from adults, as it happens. This perspective might help many of us to slow down, appreciate more, and be more playful, as we orient to a child’s experience of scale.

The Hand-Made Play Collaborative in Tokyo (one of the busiest cities in the world) investigated how children enjoy and learn from non-commercial play, by telling¬† “one story of the everyday treasures of a rainy day walk“.

This is their map of a child’s experience of a city.

Children experience a great deal from the time within the pauses of activity, the research tells us. They like routine —¬† a small ritual within a routine walk can have great meaning. They learn by experiencing and experimenting, by noticing similarities and differences and moving things around. Adults tend to hurry kids, to grow impatient with their observations and not honor the way they experience time.

The main message from Hand-Made Play:

Slow Down. Stop and listen.

It can be a challenge to get out of our adult mindsets and concerns to do this. The rewards, however, are rich for both children and adults. Paying attention to child-scale could impact our actions and even our city planning. As usual, it is beneficial to try to see through the eyes of a child.

Images: Hand-Made Play

Thank you, Kerala Taylor of Kaboom, who first wrote about Hand-Made Play.

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3 responses to “Seeing at Child-Scale Helps us Slow Down, Appreciate More, and Play

  1. I love this. I was just remarking to a children’s educator that more and more teachers are being challenged to do remedial kinesthetic learning with children. And one of their biggest challenges, that could also be a real help, would be to frame an experiene from a child’s point of view (especially in that 2-5 yr range). Children intuitively know for instance when a physical experience is at the right tempo (much slower than the typical adult is walking or riding) and hitting them right in their balance center “sweet spot” ~~ though, for an adult, that center of gravity may be way way lower than they, themselves, have experienced for a long time. To learn more about the topic of balance and movement with children see:

  2. Your message is very true. At some point in our life we should slow down think of the things or daily routines that we do, then stop and evaluate if its still makes us happy and contended, then we listen to what our hearts say. Some people are getting too busy nowadays that they forget to check if they are still happy with what they do.

  3. Pingback: Join a Jane Jacobs Walk in Your Neighborhood | Slow Family Online

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