Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Connections to Play

Play was so much simpler when I was a child. I used to go outside and climb trees, make mud pies, jump rope, play hopscotch—well you get my point. Play was our time to explore the world outside and inside, as well as figuring out our boundaries. For example, when my friend’s and I would go outside to play we knew, without being told, we could not go beyond my next neighbors’ neighbor’s house, nor could we cross the street without an adult. Naturally, our parents would always remind us as we ran out the door.
As we got older, for my friends at least, the boundaries became broader and they had more access to the other side of the street and friends’ houses around the corner. My mother was very strict and did not allow me to go much further than the two doors down even into my teens, so I began to stay inside more. I watched lots of television and read many, many books. But when I went to my friends’ houses, we were able to explore further away from the house, which gave me a sense of freedom and responsibility because I knew if I managed to get myself into trouble, the repercussions from my mother would have be very harsh.
In contrast, play today has many boundaries and obstacles. While there were fears of abduction for our parents while we played, we were able to play without fear of being killed in a crossfire. Children’s playtime has been reduced to video games, gadgets, and television whether the reasons be the parent works and the child has to stay inside, or the parents just do not have or make the time to allow their children to explore outdoors.

Quotes regarding play:

I remember wanting to play chess with the older kids was I was very young.

Play is our brain's favorite way of learning.
Diane Ackerman
Contemporary American author

I think blocks were a part of most children's early years.

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.
Fred Rogers
American television personality

I used to love climbing trees! My six year old daughter has taken over!
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.
Roger von Oech
Contemporary American creativity guru