I’ve been working in 2 school nurseries recently delivering Helicopter Stories and I have noticed something refreshing and very exciting. None of the boys have turned down the role as a female character (Mum, Princess, Sister) and non of the girls have turned down a male role (Dad, brother, Prince, Knight).
I have been in these settings for 5 weeks so far and usually by now I have had some sniggering and comments of ‘he can’t be a princess, he’s a boy’ but this hasn’t happened once. I haven’t needed to have the conversation with the 3 and 4 year old’s that we can pretend to be anything we like, a car, a dog, a princess, a house, a daddy, a volcano…
So is this just a one off? Is there something different about school nurseries that really fosters imaginative play with no gender stereotypes? Are 3 and 4 year old’s now more free to explore their role play? Is there something magical happening in the borough of Havering?
I’d love to hear what other people’s experience of this is. It’s so rare to have 5 weeks without gender coming up once.