Play is for Everyone

Here’s a picture of me a couple of Saturdays ago – all dressed up in a hotchpotch of clothes (Indian skirt, Frida Kahloish tops, yellow converse) … and to top it all my fabulous felt roses crown made by my young friend Laura (she’s amazing – see details below!)

Was it a supposed to be a special night? No, just a dinner! I tried to make all my friends wear something daft to celebrate Easter – note Anne’s Easter hat wreath! You see I really do believe that play is good for the soul. Being someone else (in your mind) frees you up to try new versions of yourself. Escaping the tedium of work clothes and sensible personas means you could be anyone.

“It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.”  Donald Woods Winnicott, Playing and Reality

Years ago I trained as a drama/play therapist and thankfully this colourful thread has always stayed within my work.  Many children and teachers will have seen the long black and gold gown of Mrs Magic Kindness – accompanied by a twirl of my silver wand, magical things happen.  Children sink to the floor (as do I) to be soft, sweet, mewing kittens or jumpy ribbeting frogs or lolloping lions. It’s fun. Within minutes shy children flex little paws and snuggle up to others – a range of tiny flags of change can occur within the magic circle.

Currently I’m engaged in lots of playground projects and one of the initiatives I most like to weave in is to persuade schools to create a make believe zone with a huge trunk full of wonderful textured clothes, wigs etc … and maybe next to it a stage for those who love to perform.

Website Manager’s Notes

1. Jenny’s lunchtime and playtime courses are wonderful opportunities for all staff to come and re-ignite their commitment and vision of happy lunchtimes for all children and adults.

2. We have some brand new playground zones signs – there are ten to choose from including “Make Believe Zone” and “Singing and Dancing Zone”. Click here to see these in our shop.

3. To contact the wonderful artist and storyteller who works in schools, Laura Holden, or to follow her work Flickr here: or on Twitter:

4. Jenny has recently carried out large lunchtime projects for groups of schools working together. For more information please email

5. For all enquiries about lunchtimes and playtimes training or to order a catalogue brimming with helpful and innovative resources phone 01225 767157 or email