Play Cousins Collective is an African American Family Collective working to build a village around the families they serve by offering programming and resource sharing. Bernheim’s Children at Play Network has had the honor of working in cooperation with PCC for nearly five years now. We share a common interest in providing children with healthy opportunities to exercise their agency through play. That’s especially valuable for Black children who have often been asked to “be small” because of the challenges they face when they are just being who they naturally are. Both organizations understand how free play supports healthy individuals and communities by allowing children to play big. One of the first activities CAPN and PCC did together back in 2019 was to explore how adults can facilitate free play without directing the play.
We recently reengaged with the PCC team to meet new people and open a meaningful conversation around facilitating play. This is part of a larger CAPN effort to foster a community of play facilitators that can help create more free play opportunities in the community. It’s critical that the adults facilitating play look like the children that are engaged in play. Representation counts in play just as it does in all aspects of healthy community advancement. CAPN has a dream of offering periodic free play facilitator trainings that will include two two-hour training sessions along with opportunities to apprentice with community free play events. The Play Cousins Collective team is helping us figure out what that might look like. We appreciate them for their grace in a process that can be a bit messy at times. Messy in the community building sense and messy in the literal sense that free play sometimes results in a temporary mess. But if it isn’t a bit messy are you really moving a needle?
Here’s some photos from a recent free play facilitator training at the Play Cousins Collective offices.