Playing with Soft Skills

Living complex experiences and concepts; learning transversal skills on personal relationships; managing conflicts, all this thanks to play.
Marco Fossati - docente di educazione fisica, esperto in scienze tiflologiche I.Ri.Fo.R.

Encouraged by extensive literature and a growing awareness that play facilitates learning of all kinds, I too played during my vacation at the Eco Campus 2021. I wanted to suggest games to the girls and boys who participated in the vacation organized by the Istituto F. Cavazza’s Romagna. 


Fun activities at the Eco Campus

We created specific and dedicated spaces for play activities in small groups. We were aiming at the development of personal skills and autonomy, and spatial, social, and relational concepts. The girls and boys experienced playful activities aimed at acquiring soft skills collaboratively, experiencing situations and feelings that can accompany us in everyday life. The personal skills we wanted to experience were transversal skills that link people’s abilities to others and to their constructive doing in small groups and broader social circles. We didn’t even realize that we were learning soft skills about personal relationships, conflict resolution, expressing thoughts and ideas, and working together to achieve common goals. And the reason why we didn’t even realize it is because we were playing. But we were able to experience them. We have strengthened our soft skills, the common or basic skills that are highly needed at all stages of life. As well, we were able to experience complex concepts, such as compulsive gaming, addiction, and some undesirable social situations. 


Fun activities at the Eco Campus

Only by talking about it afterward, only by conducting a small debriefing did we realize the experiment we had just experienced. We used a variety of invented, adapted or spontaneously constructed board game activities using different materials. Playing together, we were able to witness particular dynamics; some defined themselves as leaders or supported those who had fewer opportunities, or they tended to build a finalized and fully integrated brainstorming. The heat was taken out of certain situations since they were experienced around play. In real life, such situations would have been more challenging, but in a playful mode, they were an opportunity to learn how important it is to rely on and work with others. In addition to this, laughter, jokes, and the joy of being together allowed us to bond. Overall, I can say that I enjoyed it very much, and I believe the approach has an enjoyable as well as an educational impact that is important in the growth and learning stages of life skills for people who live with vision loss.


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