When playing is a form of art, a morning with Assemble Play

Last weekend I had the best day out with my little boy.

After hearing a lot of good reviews about an exhibition by Rana Begum at the Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery I was considering going to visit; then I learned that Assemble play was going to be there and I had no more doubts. After traveling around an hour and a half with a very excited S. we arrived at the entrance of the manor.

assemble play--4/22

Colourful fabrics hanging around the green square outside the gallery’s floor entrance welcomed us together with excited kids and smiley parents enjoying the so many fun tools.

As usual, S. started quietly looking around to end up running laughing so loud that it was contagious. Around midday the sun made his appearance making a fantastic morning even happier.

After a lot of work convincing S. to follow me, eventually, we made it to the gallery.

I was surprised to realise he enjoyed the exploration of the different rooms of the manor as well as some of the installations of the artist. I enjoyed it too although perhaps I was expecting something bigger after reading loads of great comments, I guess sometimes it’s about managing expectations.

That said, it’s always refreshing to visit exhibitions that are enjoyable for the little ones too, and some of the rooms were definitely worth the ticket.

rana belgun exhibit. 04:22 exhibit. Rana Belgun 04:22
After the exhibition, we went to the park just behind the manor and had a picnic by the pond. S. loved “talking” to the geese and the birds, running after pigeons, and pointing at anything around. How did I enjoy looking at those expressions of surprise he was pulling every two minutes, he doesn’t talk properly yet, but the few words he says convey what he wants to say perfectly.

I am so grateful there are groups like Assemble play and Make Do Play in this city, it makes living in London with a child more enjoyable. I love they have children of all ages and all abilities playing together, it’s such an important experience for them to learn from someone different from them.
Playing with loose parts, wooden spoons, fabrics, and dressing up in venues where art is celebrated, makes the experience unique and reminded me that playing is a form of art if we leave our kids leading the game.

Last weekend was my second time with Assemble Play and I was delighted to be able to take advantage of what I reckon is a rare sociable and creative opportunity for our little ones who can forget ordinary toys and rules, and make the most of whatever they find interesting whilst perhaps making new friends. Also, the exhibition and playgroup were a fantastic combo, together with a picnic by the pond.

Something to do again soon.


To be updated with Assemble Play events, follow their Instagram.

Rana Begum‘s exhibition is on till September 2022

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