Made for Play

An educational resource for very young children

A partnership between Craftspace and St Thomas Early Excellence Centre

Head Pots by Jon Williams – Soft Boats by Ruth Spaak – Tunnel of Light by Rita Patel (Photo: Craftspace)

Commissioned resource for early years settings
Birmingham, UK

Look out for our latest early years and families project at Birmingham Settlement, Making Together in 2018.

The Made for Play resource was created with very young children in mind and was designed to provoke open-ended exploratory play.

Artists Ruth Spaak, Jon Williams and Rita Patel created three new interactive artworks following exploratory sessions with families from St Thomas Early Excellence Centre during the Treasure Boxes project.

Ruth Spaak: Soft Boats

A set of soft boats made from oilcloth and canvas. Boat one is made from oilcloth and has four handles. It can be pulled in any direction, can skim across carpets and be easily manoeuvred. It offers opportunities for wet play and sand activities. Boat two is a soft unstructured shape made from canvas. It can be used as a static nest or as a boat to be dragged across the floor.

Jon Williams: Head Pots

A series of head pots made on the potters wheel. These pots are ceramic playthings. Children are encouraged to create narrative by painting and adding wet clay onto and into the vessels.

Rita Patel: Tunnel of lights

A walk-in tunnel of reflective moving hangings and textured surfaces. This is a tactile environment inside which children can explore the varying qualities of metals: shiny, matt, rigid, malleable, cold, warm, light, heavy, reflective and resonant.

The commissioned works were exhibited as part of Journeys Making, an early years exhibition curated by Craftspace at the Custard Factory in May 2007.

Where Next

Various materials lie on the table with 3 hammers.

Making Together: What happened? – with women living in refuge

Read about exploring metal with Rita Patel and Melanie Tomlinson.

a young hand pushes into wet clay.

Making Together: What happened? – Clay

See what happened at the clay workshops.

A close up of some hands embroidering simple text on material stretched over an embroidery hoop.

Making Together: What happened? – Textiles

See what happened during the textile residency.

A woman shows a lady how to use a piercing saw to cut a sheet of metal. They're both smiling and happy.

Making Together: What Happened? – Celebration

See the results of our work with families.


We use cookies. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies, Find out more