Living Reference Work Entry

Play, Recreation, Health and Well Being

Volume 9 of the series Geographies of Children and Young People pp 1-15

Date: Latest Version

Children’s Relations to the More-Than-Human World Beyond Developmental Views

  • Pauliina RautioAffiliated withFaculty of Behavioural sciences, University of HelsinkiFaculty of Education, University of Oulu Email author 
  • , Päivi JokinenAffiliated withFaculty of Education, University of Oulu


In this chapter children’s relations to the more-than-human world are explored beyond the developmental framework of the autonomous individual child agent. The social and material, temporal, and spatial existence of a snow pile is used as an anchor – both a concrete and a conceptual one – in discussing an assemblage of more-than-individual subjectivities. It is argued that in viewing children’s activities in their everyday life surroundings only in terms of what they might mean – either to the children themselves or in relation to their development – we risk losing the part of our ongoing existence that cannot be mediated, the ongoingness that matters nevertheless. The ongoing mattering of a snow pile is discussed through taking into consideration the entire event, the sociomaterial assemblage that the children take part in, or exist as parts of, virtually seizing to be individual children for the duration of the event. When snow, children, wooly mittens, scarves, boots, snot, rocks, ice, frost, dark nights, and lampposts to name but a few partaking elements convene, they produce a shared deterritorialization. As result, the children in the midst can be thought of as if freed from being viewed as individual representatives of a developmental phase, freed from being viewed as “growing up,” and freed from one’s doings viewed as “meaning” something other than what sustains the activity.


Snow Posthumanism Postdevelopmentalism Post-qualitative Voice Becoming-with