The Art of Play

Recess and the Practice of Invention

Anna R Beresin
Book Cover

PB: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1094-8
Publication: Nov 13

HC: $91.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1093-1
Publication: Nov 13

Ebook: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1095-5

202 pages
6 x 9
2 tables, 155 figures, 11 halftones

Play and recess seen from the eyes of children

Read the Introduction (pdf).


What can the art of play teach us about the art of play? Showcasing the paintings of more than one hundred Philadelphia public elementary school children, folklorist Anna Beresin’s innovative book The Art of Play, presents images and stories that illustrate what children do at recess, and how it makes them feel. Beresin provides a nuanced, child-centered discussion of the intersections of play, art, and learning. She describes a widespread institutionalized fear of play and expressive art, and the transformative power of simple materials like chalk and paint. Featuring more than 100 paintings and a dozen surreal photographs of masked children enjoying recess, The Art of Play weaves together the diverse voices of kids and working artists with play scholarship. This book emerged from Recess Access, a servicelearning project that donated chalk, ropes, balls, and hoops to nine schools in different sections of Philadelphia. A portion of the proceeds of The Art of Play will support recess advocacy. youth studies/philadelphia region/education november 202 pp. | 127 figures | 2 tables 12 halftones | 6 x 9" paper | 978-1-4399-1094-8 $25.95 | £20.99 unjacketed cloth 978-1-4399-1093-1 $89.50 | £72.00 ebook available

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Erasing Children’s Expressivity Chapter 1 • “We Don’t Have It” Chapter 2 • Before and After Part II: Master Players Interlude A Chapter 3 • Chalk Interlude B Chapter 4 • Ball Interlude C Chapter 5 • Rope Interlude D Part III: Balancing Acts Chapter 6 • “We Invented It”/“We Taught Them” Chapter 7 • The Paintlore of Children Chapter 8 • Art Advocacy/Play Advocacy Conclusion: The Practice of Invention Acknowledgments Notes References Index

About the Author(s)

Anna R. Beresin is Professor of Liberal Arts at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Director of Recess Access, and author of Recess Battles: Playing, Fighting, and Storytelling.