Knowle West Children’s Centre


Staff Project:

For staff to fully understand the impact of Stonework Play, I highly recommend that staff take part in the project. At Knowle West Children’s Centre, the staff truly embraced Stonework Play at a staff meeting, as seen in the photographs. A staff comment was made that stones allowed time for people to be able to think about important ideas. See Stonework Inspires Storytelling Project Report. 2012-2013 PG 16.


Open Day Community Project:

Community Open Day  at Knowle West Children’s Centre was a delightful experience, and sharing Stonework Play with the families was a wonderful opportunity for the parents and children  to engage in this family activity, among many others. Participants of all ages were drawn to making pictures and shapes, and to gathering meaning from the stones. The most striking aspects of the stonework Play session were the emotionally-wrought stories that emerged, connected to bullying, war, and the death of a family member. The therapeutic aspect of creating stone stories was plain to see.  For more Stonework Inspires Storytelling Project Report. 2012-2013 pg 22


Unfortunately, some children in this world are bullied. This child chose to draw his Stonework Play story about a friend who was bullied. Working with stones is a powerful tool to uncover what is important to children. This session with Stonework Play took place during Open Day Community at Knowle West Children's Centre in Bristol, England.


Toddler Project:

For toddlers, the Stonework Play project took place in the toddler room during my several months stay. Stonework was introduced at "Planning Time" and the children could elect to stay for the session. Although the participants were very young and in the early stages of language acquisition, it was clear to see the meaningfulness they attributed to their stonework. See Stonework Inspires Storytelling Project Report. 2012-2013 pg 18.



Preschool Project:

Stonework Play was also introduced to 3- and 4-year-olds at the school. What we discovered in this session is that stonework Play can serve as a tool to facilitate communication when there is a language barrier. See Stonework Inspires Storytelling Project Report. 2012-2013 pg 20


Knowle West Children’s Centre, Bristol, UK 
Collaborative research project with The Elizabeth Jarman® Foundation (UK), "Stonework Inspires Storytelling,” 16-24


'Joy' Lidia Making A Tower:


Lidia, whose native language is Polish, is seen throughout this extended session positioning her stones with fine motor dexterity. She would squeal with joy when the smaller stones stayed balanced on the larger, shiny stone. Even when the stones fell, she would place them on top, again and again. At one point she successfully balanced four stones, a feat difficult for any adult. Lidia worked for the entire period, approximately 40 minutes. She was totally emerged. In her final piece, see how the stones are strategically arranged, heavy upon light, creating a cave with a window above.

All the children I have worked with on Stonework Play seem to develop a special relationship with me. I think they understood that I was observing accordingly to what the late international infant specialist Magda Gerber termed as the “wants nothing “ observer, wanting only what the child cares to share. That shows respect to the child. And Lidia's happiness with her creations enhanced her self-esteem. She was happy when the stones stayed on top, and she wasn’t sad when they fell. She just fixed it — like riding a bike, falling down, and getting up again. Stonework Play can be great preparation for life.