This article discusses the growing body of literature published in Children Geographies on the importance of involving children in research processes. Inspired by participatory creative methods such as photo elicitation and popular/forum theatre, we have developed a potentially child-friendly tool referred to as Theatre Elicitation (TE). The objective of TE is to use theatre forms as a means of data collection in the context of a negotiated research process. In a pilot project in which we explore TE, children shared their perceptions of happiness. This was inspired by a UNICEF Report [2007. Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child Well-being in Rich Countries. Innocenti Report Card 7. Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre] that listed ‘Dutch children’ as the happiest of the world. The focus of this article is the development of TE as an interactive research tool. Insights were gained into the meaning of ‘child-friendly’ research, shifting power relations between children, peers and adults, and how children’s own positioning in lived experiences contextualized concepts such as ‘Dutch children’.
- Child-friendly methods; Theatre Elicitation; participatory creative methods; agency of children; power relations