Jackrabbits in Huntington Beach
Thomas Henry Gallery
"In Dreamboat, children had highly imaginative experiences. They walked into this installation and almost immediately appeared to immerse themselves into this “other world.” In this space, children were often observed creating narratives, deepening them as they engaged more with new play participants or found objects in the installation."
There were behaviors I hadn't anticipated:
"Dreamboat also fostered opportunities for social and emotional development. In this space, children expressed more moments of tenderness and awareness towards other’s needs. Older children also appeared more confident in taking on leadership roles, rallying their peers into play with them."
My single favorite observation was this one:
"A child and their caregiver are alone in Dreamboat. Almost immediately upon entry the child runs to the boat and begins narrating a story – the child is Wonder Woman and they are going out to sea. The child spends close to 45 minutes narrating their play and further developing their world, almost entirely alone. At various points throughout their play they voice a question about what to do next. In these moments the child holds a conversation with themselves taking on a secondary role of Wonder Woman, contemplating her actions as a factor for what they should do next. It is through this persona and acting it out that this child further explores Dreamboat, deepens engagement, and moves from collecting objects for their sailing trip to identifying creatures they must protect to building tools at the craft table to use in their adventure."
A short video about the installation was shot last Fall and you can see it here.