Well done Hollie McNish again for such beautiful words that bring tears to my eyes. And lovely film too.
I came across this video today, and it blew my mind.
I have been thinking so much about this as I really want to make a film about education, schooling and home education/unschooling.
Suli Breaks breaks (s’cuse the pun) it down for us. It’s powerful stuff.
I like to go into the woods and take my kids out to the park
I like to sit with them at bedtime, tell them stories, point at stars
I basically like doing things together that are free
Cos I like to play I like to chat and don’t have so much money
They say mummy can we go and play
We get our coats and run
But today our trusty play park wasn’t so much fun.
The one gate that was there last week had now been cut in two
The left hand side was pink and the right hand side was blue
The left hand side said “Girls”, the right hand side said “Boys”
The play park had been split like every shop does to their toys.
Oh shit I thought, looking round, which side should I stand on?
I need to play games with my daughter and play games with my son
The swings were on the girls’ side, sprayed in pretty glitter paint
The slide was on the boys, and the wobbling bridge and train, ofcourse
The fireman’s pole was blue cos we know girls cannot slide down those
All they do is dance around them, twist and twirl and point their toes
The roundabout was with the girls, shaped into a princess crown
And a brick wall down the middle separated all the middle ground
The mud was on the boys side and the puddles and the grass
But the sky was on the girls side with the clouds shaped into hearts.
The trees were on the boys side, cos the girls who climbed all fell
And the flowers were on the girls side, cos little boys don’t like the smell
A net was built which reached to space and a tunnel built below
So that the park rangers could tell all the animals which side to go
The butterflies and birds were trapped and forced to fly on girly left
But the bugs and beetles underground were forced below our future men
The duck pond was on the left and the ducks all painted pink
But the duck weed and the dirt was on the right with stones and twigs
The rain and grey cloud thunderstorms and lightening struck the boys side
Cos girls clothes didn’t keep them warm and they didn’t like the noise
The warm, sunny sunshine and white fluffy clouds
Were told to shine for girls alone so they could smile and prance about
The girls were given mirrors and the boys were given swords
Blood was on the boys side (except for periods of course)
My son and daughter ran around, a bit confused but soon relaxed
And any kid who tried to cross was labelled gay or weird or twat
And when their bellies started rumbling and hunger had kicked in
We came out of the play park and found a picnic spot to sit in
I got out the apples, orange squash, cheese sandwiches and rolls
I told them both a story about billy goats and trolls
Then took out the picnic flask with one straw for each kid
But just as they put the straws up to their little thirsty lips
The park ranger was upon us selling official food and drink
A picnic box of blue juice and another box of pink
I’m afraid you cannot share those things between your girls and boys, he begged
Cos if we split your kids up, we sell twice as many toys, he said
We have Disney princess juice for girls and robot juice for future kings
Branded yoghurts, branded sweets, just buy two of everything
Lego blocks to build a plane or lego friends and flower stalls
Pink toys if she has a fanny, blue toys if your kid has balls
My kids were confused at first but soon fitted right in
My daughter learnt her princess pose and my son practiced fighting
And now every night I call my kids for bedtime one by one
I read my son a robot story and my daughter one called princess love
Kiss my daughter on the cheek and give my on a firm high five
And we look out of the window and gaze into the night
My son looks for planets, Mars of course, if not, the moon
And my daughter looks at stars because they twinkle just like diamonds do.
I take them to the toilet to do their final bedtime loo
My daughter does a rainbow wee, my son a massive stinking poo
I tuck them into bed and pull up covers lined with trains and hearts
My daughter falls asleep without a sound, my son falls asleep in farts
And as the sun sets on another day and the daylight turns to dark
I pray that toy shops never own our forests or our parks.
check out Hollie’s website here
here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.
And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.
In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.
The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.
And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.
You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.
Do we need to re-think the word “play”? It seems so frivolous for actually an activity that provides so much learning of life skills….
Originally posted on Love Outdoor Play:
Take 3 minutes today and listen to the wisdom of Bob Hughes, a very well known thinker and author of books about play and playwork on the evolutionary necessity of play, especially play outdoors, for children.
“Fundamental building blocks for humanness and humanity….requires children have diverse experiences that are hands on…”
“it’s the flexibility you need, not the specific skills”
And the environment? If we don’t have that sort of interaction with it as a child… we won’t care about it…
Enjoy! And Share!
This clip was shot by the crew behind the film Project Wild Thing which will be showing at your local Picturehouse cinema on 27th October! Please note they aren’t advertising it yet, but rest assured it will be there. Mark it in your diaries. And tell all your friends.
So do you agree? And why do you think outdoor play is important?
This is a great poem from Hollie McNish about breastfeeding in public. I am so pleased she is getting some attention – it’s about time. Hollie rocks! I loved working with her to record the poems we used in the film, and we shared so much in common. Go girl!