From the BBC3 article:
Ash [Perrin] and his team of clowns, musicians and dancers are ‘play specialists’ who work with children in refugee camps across Europe. The aim is to allow the kids “to feel good, feel daft, and feel playful”.
They are part of The Flying Seagulls Project, a band of clowns and performers who believe in the power of play. They have traveled to numerous refugee camps across Europe to help entertain and support children and their families via play.
This kind of outreach and human interaction is so powerful, not just from the viewpoint of lifting up people’s spirits, but especially for children’s mental well-being. It is incredibly beneficial to everyone but especially children to provide play and laughter as a respite from a really scary situation, at a time when they need a village of support at the exact time they have lost that village, as their parents try to cope with their new situation as well.
This kind of outreach is crucial especially as the refugee crisis intensified and continues to grow and more families are displaced and their lives put into turmoil. Play is how children process their emotions, explore and understand the world, and this kind of work can help children process trauma.
Unstructured play is crucial as well, but having guided play like this is important in a situation where the rules and conditions have changed for children – they need guidance from others to say “this is allowable here.” It is okay to laugh, to sing, to feel silly.
There are clowns who also work in children’s hospitals in the U.S. and around the world, providing similar services. Being able to go to where the children are, in their time of need, and say, “let’s play!” can be incredibly healing.
I wanted to share a great list from full time mom/worker/author/etc. Katrina Alcorn about how to fit in some play and laughs into a busy schedule.
Whether or not laughter is the best medicine, it’s certainly a great coping technique. It may not make you less busy, but it will boost your immune system, protect your heart, help you handle stress, lower your blood pressure, and improve your intake of oxygen. Also, it has zero calories, zero negative side effects, and it’s free.
read her six ideas on how to get more laughter into your busy life quickly, cheaply, and effectively at Because Working Moms Need to Laugh — 6 Ideas | Maybrooks.
Katrina also wrote a great book about her experience being Maxed Out and ways that we can all fight for more time and space to play and be balanced in our lives. It is a wonderful, fast, engaging read. Go check it out.
People often wonder just how powerful the people and spaces around us can be. Well, it turns out they can be pretty dang powerful! Just check out the video. Thanks Guy Kawasaki for sharing this out:
Giggles spread through an U-Bahn train in Berlin after one woman starts laughing. Happiness: the best infectious thing you can catch on a train.
I know this is OLD news at this point, but it is still so cool! This comprehensive (I think) compared vocalizations made by different apes, including us, and found them to be all pretty similar.
And, some new research on rats being tickled: The Woody Allen/Eeyore type rats of the world don’t like being tickled (yikes, I hate being tickled, so what does that say about me? That I’m an Eeyore of the people world?)
Lots of cool research has been published lately about primates and how complicated and awesome we are.
The latest is research showing that at least four primates other than humans use the same muscles, vocal intonations, and so on, to laugh at stuff that is funny, namely tickling.
I have more that I can share later, but for now: more adorable photos of primates from Woodland Park Zoo.
Rafe also had an awesome encounter with a snow leopard; definitely a complex interplay between mammals there. I’ll ask him to blog about it here.