#Pittifriends #Littlechats - Petra Barkhof of Kidswear Magazine and Scimparello
Edition 91
Petra Barkhof, Deputy Editor and Digital Director of KID’S WEAR MAGAZINE  and founder of the new online magazine Scimparello, told us about play, and what it has meant to her throughout her life. As an adult who has rediscovered her inner little girl; as a child, playing games with her best friend; and at work, having fun with the kids on set.

How do you play today?
I play mainly with my granddaughter because there is a special relationship between us, we enjoy the same things and have the same tastes: we dress up, dance, and shoot videos on TikTok. I make up for the time I didn’t spend with my children playing with her. Growing up allowed me to rediscover the little girl in me because I also have fun with rag dolls and paper dolls, similar to those I had as a child and whose clothes can be changed. I also play a lot with my physical appearance, especially with my hair that is partly blue, and with clothing that is always a bit eccentric. Not to mention that I am attracted to all that is funny and peculiar. My studio is full of puppets of all shapes and sizes, boxes and boxes, drawings, plastic animals, colored pencils …

How did you use to play?
With my best friend Katrin, we played the Kessler twins to exhaustion. We then pretended we were post office clerks, stamping and sending letters and parcels, or shoe shop sales assistants processing orders, and we piled all the boxes we found around on a ladder. Of course, we wore make-up and put on our mothers’ lipsticks, which were indelible at the time and didn’t even go away with soap. I remember combing my grandfather’s hair for hours, and he liked it, at least until the day that to make a curl, I turned the comb so many times that his hair got stuck and it took us a good hour to free it. Instead, with my mom and brothers, we played quieter, board games, such as Monopoly or Mensch ärgere dich nicht (Do not get angry), a kind of goose game.

What is the playful part of your work?
All my work is play. Already imagining the theme of a photoshoot is play. Then, finding the clothes. And put them together. And make the children wear them backstage, they always teach me some new mobile phone or tablet tricks. And keeping them engaged on the set: making them laugh, entertaining them, listening to their conversations, and seeing their joy when I take them to locations such as old villas and woods that seem enchanted, or their surprise when I create particular sets. They immediately enter the part and would no longer want to go home. I couldn’t do this job if I weren’t the first one having fun.