The serious matter of play

We tend to think of play as a child’s territory but we loose a lot by thinking just that. Play is a part of life that drives innovation, stimulates communities, helps us enjoy life… to name but a few things.

So a question… do you play enough? Like a child plays? With others? To explore and discover? To have fun? To get to know people? To learn a new skill? To test a new idea? To try something… just because?

I’ll bet you don’t. Why not?

Here’s some other reading on this subject…


A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.

John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.

At TEDxBG in Sofia, Steve Keil fights the “serious meme” that has infected his home of Bulgaria — and calls for a return to play to revitalize the economy, education and society. A sparkling talk with a universal message for people everywhere who are reinventing their workplaces, schools, lives.

From a few interesting connections:

Kevin Carroll: Finding your own “red rubber ball” and chasing it to your heart’s content, he argues, is the surest route to peace, prosperity, and happiness

Right to Play: To improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.

Originally published at

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