Hvordan tar barn i bruk de mulighetene uterommet kan gi i relasjonsleken? : en observasjonsstudie av hvordan noen barn leker sammen i barnehagens uterom
In my master thesis I wanted to focus on the outdoor environment of the norweigian kindergarten, and how this room or place can afford play between children. My main research question is: ”How does children make use of the possibilities that the outdoor room/place can afford in relational play?” To find an answer to this, I have used a fenomenological approach when it comes to theory and method. I am influenced among others by the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The term lifeworld and the body as a subject together with theories on play, relations and place make out the main part of my theory. In addition, hermeneutics and grounded theory are important factors of my method. I base this on theories developed by Heidegger and Gadamer amongst others. To collect data for my work, I spent two days a week for five weeks in a traditional kindergarten during their outdoor playtime. I was interacting with the children both as a participant in their play and as an observer from the outside. To document my data I used a notebook where I wrote down play observations and thoughts on what I saw in the everyday life of their playtime. After I had finished my field work, I decided to use five of the observations I had written down. These observations have made the platform of what I build my master thesis on. My results are based on the observations I have done and the analyses that came of this. I found a few things that stood out and seemed to be important in the children’s outdoor relational play. In short, what I found out was this; the importance of acknowledging each other, testing their own and others’ boundaries, the choice of a place out of interest, to create meaning through play and through the use of a place, and to create places not available to everyone. These were all factors that seemed important to the children I observed. They used the outdoor environment as a room to do all this. The way they did it varied from child to child, but it was clear to me that the outdoor environment afforded play, and the children used this room in a way that suitet them. The way I see it, the outdoor environment is a place that children use to their benefit, so that children of different age and base can share the same experience and share a common ground and be joined in relational play.