Authentic play comes from deep down inside us. It’s not formed or motivated solely by others. Real play interacts with and involves the outside world, but it fundamentally expresses the needs and desires of the player. It emerges from the imaginative force within. That’s part of the adaptive power of play: with a pinch of pleasure, it integrates our deep physiological, emotional, and cognitive capacities. And quite without knowing it, we grow…
We may think we are helping to prepare our kids for the future when we organize all their time, when we continually ferry them from one adult-organized, adult-regulated activity to another. And, of course, to some degree these activities do promote culturally approved behavior as well as reinforce our roles as “good” parents. But in fact we may be taking from them the time they need to discover for themselves their most vital talents and knowledge. We may be depriving them of access to an inner motivation for an activity that will later blossom into a motive force for life.
Play researcher Stuart Brown, M.D., in Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. Dr. Brown founded the National Institute for Play in Carmel Valley, California.
Paul Ritscher says
Nice quote. I think I should go out and play. You should too.
Chris Wilcox says
An excellent idea, good sir.