How might close encounters with bubble-wrap in an early childhood classroom trouble governing binaries of safe/unsafe and care/careless?

Under heaps of bubble-wrap a lone hand emerges to wave hello.

Today bodies and bubble-wrap bump up against mandatory safety checks.

Inspection begins

POP!POP!POPPING! Jumping, diving, falling, tripping

Hazardous AND Complex #encounterswithmaterials

POP!POP!POPPING! Twirling, binding, snarling, obstructing

Hazardous AND Inviting #livingwithplastics

POP!POP!POPPING! (Un)comfortable entanglements of bodies and plastic

Hazardous AND Intimate #commonworlds

 Close encounters with mounds of bubble-wrap create caring relations that transform the classroom into complex sites of response(ability) (Gabrys, Hawkins & Michael, 2013; Haraway, 2016). The intermingling of bodies and bubble-wrap in motion push educators to think beyond governing binaries: safe/unsafe and care/careless.

As educators and researchers continue to take the safety of children seriously, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (2017) reminds them that, “care can be done within and for worlds that we might find objectionable” (p. 6). Providing safe and care(full) living is never a neutral act but rather a non-innocent ethical-political process of living “as well as possible” (p. 16) in relations with more-than-human others.


Gabrys, J., Hawkins, G., and Michael, M. (2013). Introduction: From materiality to plasticity. In J. Gabrys, G. Hawkins & M. Michael (Eds.). Accumulation; The material polictics of plastic. New York, NY: Routledge.

Haraway, D. (2016). Staying with the Trouble; Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2017). Matters of Care; speculative ethics in more than human worlds. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.