WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO
Flamethrowers & Dreamcatchers is a weekly members club for kids aged 8-13 that uses role-playing games to boost their confidence, teach story creation and fire up the imagination.
Lead by professionally trained teachers, writers and actors, we provide a structured, screen-free play environment designed to foster pro-social behaviour, strengthen key cognitive skills, and nurture creative expression.
Our mentoring sessions will take children on imaginary journeys to fantastical locations lead by characters of their own creations all the while aiming towards outcomes in these specific learning areas:
1 Story. Structure. Character
2 Maths. Strategy. Problem Solving
3 Public speaking. Articulation. Vocabulary
4 Acting. Improvisation. Confidence
5 Teamwork. Collaboration. Leadership
WATSON and CRICK
were playing with possible shapes of the DNA molecule when they stumbled upon the double helix.
played with iambic pentameter his whole life.
barely lived a waking moment when he was not at play.
was at play when it dawned on him the world was round.
was at play in his mind when he saw the apple tree and suddenly conceived of the force of gravity.
thought experiments are brilliant examples of the mind invited to play.
DR. EDWARD M. HALLOWELL
MUCH MORE THAN AN 'AFTER SCHOOL CLUB'
“Play stimulates the parts of the brain involved in both careful logical reasoning and carefree unbound exploration: Planning, prioritising, scheduling, anticipating, analysing, delegating, deciding - in short the skills any executive must master in order to excel in business”
EDWARD M HALLIWELL | AUTHOR OF DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION
We’ve yet to encounter a bored or distracted child playing an RPG. The (screen-free) hyper focus of roleplaying games have enormous positive effects on the executive functions of the brain and neuroplastic growth; they strengthen neural pathways for exploration and improvisation; help us see possibilities we otherwise wouldn’t, make connections that wouldn’t normally occur to us, makes us more receptive to untested ideas, challenge assumptions and make new discoveries.
Roleplaying games develop key cognitive skills and promote psychological wellness in a way that our current ‘fast-food’ education system fails to. The literature on the benefits of face to face social, storytelling, pretend and creative play is extensive and in a life time study of over 6,000 play-histories, Stuart Brown (National Institute For Play) concluded that play has the power to significantly improve all aspects of human growth and interaction - from family life to personal health.
Add to this the cathartic psychological benefits of unpicking and rationalising nightmares, using symbols and archetypes to make sense of complex reality and developing intimacy and connection amongst peers through trust - RPG’s help children focus and they help them grow.
Good stories are good for the soul: We use this principle to guide our games.
"WHEN I EXAMINE MYSELF AND MY METHODS OF THOUGHT I COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE GIFT OF FANTASY HAS MEANT MORE TO ME THAN MY TALENT FOR ABSORBING POSITIVE KNOWLEDGE."
A HOLISTIC EDUCATION
‘School’ is derived from the Greek skhol (meaning leisure/philosophy). So it is a bitter irony that, despite the obvious long-term benefits, our current education system actively deprioritises children’s explorative play in favour of test practise and exams for the short-term gain of student selection, league tables and profit. We want to offer a 'school' that mentors, grows the imagination and wrestles with ideas through Socratic questioning and narrative simulation. Play is the purest expression of our humanity.
THRIVING & SURVIVING: PRO-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
“To play is to learn: When children play, they exercise their senses, their intellect, their emotions, their imagination—keenly and energetically. To play is to explore, to discover and to experiment. Playing helps children develop ideas and gain experience. It gives them a wealth of knowledge and information about the world in which they live—and about themselves. Play is fun for children. But it’s much more than that— it’s good for them, and it’s necessary. Play gives children the opportunity to develop and use the many talents they were born with”
JAAK PANKSEPP | AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE: THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN AND ANIMAL EMOTIONS.
Panksepp discovered mammals have neural play circuitry and that play – winning, letting someone win and even loosing with grace - is necessary to social thriving. Further, he showed that strengthening these neural pathways at an early age is so fundamental to key cognitive skills that it aids in survival. We now know for example that bears who play the most live the longest and in a world continuously presenting unique challenges and ambiguity, play prepares these bears (as well as our own little cubs) for a changing planet.
Humans are the biggest players of all: We are built to play and built through play. Role-playing games teach the power of working together, how to turn a loss into something helpful and how leading and winning as a team is the best feeling in the world.
“WE HAVE SOLD OURSELVES INTO A FAST FOOD MODEL OF EDUCATION. IMPOVERISHING OUR SPIRIT AND OUR ENERGIES AS FAST FOOD IS DEPLETING OUR PHYSICAL BODIES. IMAGINATION IS THE SOURCE OF EVERY FORM OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT AND IT IS THE ONE THING I BELIEVE WE ARE SYSTEMATICALLY JEOPARDISING IN THE WAY WE EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN AND OURSELVES”
Sir Ken Robinson