The Human Need for Play


Play isn’t just about having fun.
Playing teaches kids to take risks.
It allows them to see where their boundaries are.
When you feel what it’s like to get hurt. You don’t want to hurt someone else. Playing helps kids build empathy.
Play is chaotic. Running, diving, tumbling – creating a repertoire of spontanious choices for a kid.

Animal expert Bob Fagen says play in animals prepares them for an unexpected and evolving world.

But somewhere along the way we were told to stop playing.
We separated the head from the heart. We sat in classrooms.
We started to direct kids towards playing in specific way and called it work.

Our society looks down on play. Adults are often embarrassed to play or feel guilty playing.
Humans deprived of play are rigid and fearful robing us of the most important quality of an entrepreneur.
A lack of play leads to depression, rigidity and trouble adapting. Play helps us cope with life.

We’re often searching outside ourselves for something that’s missing.
But I’m convinced that the search for paradise is the search for our childhood.

Play for kids is more important than learning.

Creative companies like IDEO understand the importance of play in creativity .

When coming up with new design ideas, they believe in:

1. Exploration of many things
2. Building stuff with your hands
3. Acting it out

You must be tired of me saying this but the future of the job market is about creativity.
That means we need to encourage play. Get kids away from their desks and get them climbing trees.

Parents often discourage play by telling kids to stop being kids. So what if they get dirty in the mud? So what if they fall? It’s safer to let them hurt themselves physically then restricting their mental growth for the future.

Don’t sprinkle play on top of learning. Play is learning.

Also published on Medium.

You Might Also Like