The aim of this article is to develop a view of play as a relation between play practices and play moods based on an empirical study of children's everyday life and by using Bateson's term of ‘framing’ [(1955/2001). In Steps to an ecology of mind (pp. 75–80). Chicago: University of Chicago Press], Schmidt's notion of ‘commonness’ [(2005). Om respekten. København: Danmarks Pædagogiske Universitets Forlag; (2011). On respect. Copenhagen: Danish School of Education University Press] and Heidegger's term ‘mood’ [(1938/1996). Time and being. Cornwall: Wiley-Blackwell.]. Play mood is a state of being in which we are open and ready, both to others and their production of meaning and to new opportunities for producing meaning. This play mood is created when we engage with the world during play practices. The article points out four types of play moods – devotion, intensity, tension and euphorica – which show an affiliation with four types of play practices such as sliding, shifting, displaying and exceeding. Though play practices and play moods become possible, this conceptual framework makes it possible to highlight three features of play – first, moods are essential to play; second, moods are always in plural and finally, different moods describe different ways of being in play which means different ways of engaging with the world and the people around us.
International Journal of Play, 2013, Vol 2, Issue 2, p. 76-86