Fun in the dungeon Story telling session pack
This sheet accompanies the Fun in the dungeon storybook and offers ideas on ways the book can be used with children and teenagers. The book is for children and parents, empowering them to advocate for local play.
Use this book as a starting point to discuss play with children. They can play at being the King or Queen … or being in a room with a few objects and inventing games. The book is a story that can be read and enjoyed many times, but we hope it is also a resource for parents, teachers and children.
Discussion ideas •
Why do you think the Queen hates play so much at the start of the story?
Can you ever stop children playing?
Are there really laws about play?
What makes the Queen change her mind about play?
Practical ideas •
Can you come up with 100 ways to have fun without much money (no computers or TV either) … okay try 10 first and see how that goes!
Try making your own word search about play. What words will you hide? Here are a few ideas to get you going:
SKIP, HIDE AND SEEK, HOPSCOTCH, TAG, MIME
Or see how many words you can make from the words ‘PLAY WALES’
How many different types of play can you find in the last picture of the book?
Can you get 5? Maybe 10? What about 15 or more? (the words must be three letters or more).
In your story sack you will find various objects. Like the children in the story, what games can you make up with these items?
Play information Play is every child’s right
Playing is good for children
The importance of children’s play is recognised throughout the world. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – which lists the rights of all children and teenagers – states (in Article 31) that every child has the right to play.
Children benefit most when they are in charge of their play. When children choose what to play, who to play with, and how to organise their play, they have more fun. Children also develop and learn in all sorts of ways while playing:
This convention applies to all children and teenagers, whoever they are, wherever they live and whatever they believe. So as parents and carers, it is important to make sure your child has the space, time and company of others to play. Playing is your child’s right wherever they are – at home, in childcare and at school.
Climbing helps children build upper body strength, coordination and balance. It helps develop confidence and self-esteem, too.
Joking, chatting and making up games with other children helps them develop their communication skills.
Running and playing chase helps children get fitter.
Walking or running along the tops of walls helps children develop concentration and balance.
Jumping off steps, riding a bike, or skipping with a rope helps children develop coordination and confidence in what their bodies can do.
Playing make believe develops children’s imagination and creativity. It can help them make sense of difficult things in their life, too.
Playing gives children the chance to let off steam and have fun. This is important for them, but it also reduces stress on you – their parents, carers and families.
What kind of stuff is good for play? Stuff like boxes, string, sticks, paper, cushions and fabric often make the best playthings. Used by themselves or together, they can become anything the child wants. And they are ideal, because they are usually things that are lying around the house, or easy to find. Things like sand, water, shells, fabric, buckets, boxes, rope, tyres, bottles and wood are easy to find outdoors and don’t cost a lot.
‘Loose parts’ We call these sorts of everyday things ‘loose parts’. Children can move them around, carry them, roll them, lift them, pile them on top of each other, or put them together to create interesting, original structures and experiences. Loose parts are great for children’s play because they: •
Increase their creative and imaginative play
Help them play co-operatively and socialise more
Encourage them to be more physically active
Help them develop their communication and negotiation skills.
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