As the school year across Europe comes to an end and children look forward to their annual summer holiday break, it is a good time to review the growing evidence about the significance of play in the domestic arena, with friends and family. In particular, I want to focus on the contribution that play outside of school makes to a child’s education.Read more ›
Space, time and permission are three interrelated factors that have a significant impact on children’s opportunities to play . But without permission, all the space and time in the world is worthless.Read more ›
This edition of the Importance of Play blog series features an excerpt from ’Policy for Play’ by Adrian Voce, expert on children’s play.
While the precise nature of play remains elusive and indefinable, several academic disciplines – from evolutionary biology to developmental and depth psychology and the emergent neurosciences – each agree in their different ways that children’s play is central to who and what we are. It seems clear from these various studies that playing has a vitally important role, both in individual development and in human evolution, but that its primary purpose is simply to be enjoyed. The great play scholar Brian Sutton-Smith famously said, ‘the opposite of play isn’t work, it’s depression’; the act of playing brings about ‘renewed belief in the worthwhileness of merely living’.Read more ›
The long, hot Aussie summers of my childhood are a precious part of my play memory.
It was a time where my days were spent playing, largely free from adult constraints and expectations. I didn’t ‘roam free’ in the purest sense, and wouldn’t glorify that as the ideal. My backyard, and those of my surrounding neighbours, were wild enough for me and climbing fences and trees and ‘raiding’ the dens of my friends was risky enough to satisfy my taste for adventure.
Play is at its purest and most uninhibited when it is unstructured and spontaneous. Play, away from the watchful eyes of parents and other adults, allows children to escape into their own world, free from judgement, advice or instruction from grown-ups.Read more ›