Why Document Play?

Opening Line


It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.

I had my camera.  I had been to the workshop on documenting children’s play.  I was ready to begin!

One of the toddlers in my program was playing with an excavator type of truck.  It was the type with a belt-like tread that connected the front and back wheels.  I started taking pictures, uncertain of what direction the play might take.

And then, the tread like belt that connected the truck tires fell off.  It was kind of like when the chain falls of a bicycle.  A disappointing moment.  I felt my immediate instinct which was to put the tread back onto the truck for him.  But I was holding my camera.  I was supposed to be documenting this.  So I waited.

And what happened?  That little toddler simply started working at getting the tread back onto the truck wheels.  And you know something?  It took a little while but he did it!  And I had a whole set of photos to tell the story.  Now, not only did he have the feeling of accomplishment but I did too, having captured his triumph on camera.

Yes, it was my first photographed documentation of a child at play.  And it wouldn’t be the last.

Note: *Actual photos of this documentation were done with film.  I printed the photos and gave them to the child’s parents to keep so I am unable to share them here.


5 thoughts on “Why Document Play?

  1. As a toddler mom myself, I need to stop myself from jumping to help her when she’s stuck. They’re amazingly persistent!


    1. Yes!! I am sure you can attest to this phenomenon which I know can be inconvenient but it does serve children well when it comes to learning how to do new things. Thanks for reading my post. 😊

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