By: Genevieve Bisson
Last August 19, 2015, the Pandoo Foundation team sat in a circle surrounded with toys and we played. We built cities with blocks and dominoes, drew pictures, played with dolls, and even made play dough pizza. (It was delicious!) Without children to worry about, the team remembered what it was like to be kids as we laughed and enjoyed ourselves. Eventually some of the kids arrived and witnessed us all on the floor in pure moments of playfulness. I think they were a bit confused by what they saw!
The activity was part of a play therapy workshop led by Peachy Gonzalez Fernando, a Certified Specialist in Clinical Psychology.
The objective was for the team to reflect and understand the power of play and how telling it can be about the children’s real lives. Like Peachy explained to us, kids have less barriers when they are playing and we can learn a lot by observing them. We can learn to read between the lines by listening to the kind of things they say and portray during play. We can get a sneak peek look into their world; we can learn about things that are sometimes difficult for them to express otherwise.
We always put forward how important it is for us to be positive role models for the kids. I think what the kids witnessed that day was a true testimony to this. We took the time to understand them and by doing so, we gained insight on how to better care for them.
Thank you, Peachy, for reaching out to us and offering your expertise.
The activity allowed me and the team to have fun and relax. I realized as well that the kid in me hasn’t disappeared, as I was throwing play dough over people’s heads. I also gained a different perspective and appreciation with regard to the power of play. I feel like the team left energized by the inspiring presentation Peachy gave us. By showing us and involving us in the process of play therapy, we all lived and experienced something different and helpful for the work we do.
For all of you out there reading this — Today, stop what you’re doing and press play!