According to child development expert, Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige, (TedTalks April 2013), Play, in all its forms-humor, games, and joyfulness and its elements-exploration, building and role playing, is the root of all learning and emotional well-being. We are born knowing how to be creative and how to play. If play and creativity are nurtured, learning flourishes.
In his 2006 book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, Daniel Pink, explains, humor is a marker of emotional intelligence and right brain thinking at its best. It relieves stress and aggression, promotes optimism, and helps communicates difficult messages. It’s looking at the big picture and giving yourself an open perspective and an attitude adjustment. The picture of this dog tickles my funny bone because I find humor in the ridiculous and my kids notice this picture because it is a visual shortcut to humor. I don’t know what makes a good sense of humor but it is obvious when someone doesn’t have one.
“Games are the literature of the 21st century,” declares Daniel Pink (2006). It’s hard to argue when at their best, games teach whole mind lessons efficiently and effectively. I was blown away learning that computer games are a bigger industry than the movies. Well-developed computer and traditional games and sports promote problem solving, self-expression, self-exploration, and self-confidence.
My boy loves to play and he will tell you he is good at it. He is a natural at play and all little ones are but he embraces it as a talent. I am an artist and my sister is an athlete. I never really thought we had a lot in common growing up but discovering my son’s abilities, I have found the connection is movement and an active mind.
In his Ted Talk (2008) Tales of Creativity and Play, Tim Brown explains play is “thinking with your hands” and learning by doing. If you use your body and tools to build, you can come up with amazing inventions. Brown says self-editing is not playful. As adults were worry about being wrong, embarrassed, and the judgment of our peers, and it keeps us from playful exploration. The idea is to be free and open as a child to the infinite choices and creative solutions. Children with autism thrive on sensory play because of its tactile freedom for exploration but may need support for role playing to interact with their peers.
Tim Brown (2008) points out, role playing with the understood rules and authenticity of children helps prototype an experience and breeds empathy. The grown up part is knowing when to play and how to transition in and out of play. A trusting environment is crucial to creativity and play.
I automatically put laughter with humor but Daniel Pink rightly puts it with joyfulness. Dr. Kataria, (Pink 2006), a doctor who prescribes laughter clubs as the best medicine, says, “When you depend on something else to make you laugh, the laughter doesn’t belong to you.” Happiness is conditional; joyfulness is unconditional. Laughter is a positive social activity which decreases stress, boosts the immune system, has aerobic benefits, and conveys empathy. This slide represents my joys: my son and friend laughing at play, my own sense of fun and creativity in my 2nd grade drawing and finding a man who can’t resist me, and my play guru, friend, special education and early childhood expert, Mary White.
Growing up is a trap if we deny the whole mindedness of play. It is a sophisticated way of creative thinking that allows us to collaborate productively. Creativity is powerfully good because it promotes discipline, beauty, self-worth, and belonging.
VYork slideshare on play
Play is the root of all learning and emotional well-being.
Play Well, Be Well
HAVE A FUNNY BONE
Humor is a sign of emotional intelligence
Relieves stress and helps communication
Games are 21st century literature
Promote problem solving, self-exploration and
Play is a natural talent we all have
Movement and active minds make a connection
Play is “thinking with your hands” and learning by doing.
Sensory play is tactile freedom for children with Autism.
Role playing helps prototype an experience and breeds empathy
LET JOY IN Joy is unconditional.
Laughter promotes social wellness.
Resources Used:HealthDay. (August 27th, 2013).[Web article]. What is ‘Play’ to a Child
With Autism? MedlinePlus. Retrieved from
Pink, D. (2006). A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the
Future. New York, New York: Riverhead books.
TedTalks. (November 2008). [TEDtalksDirector]. Tim Brown: Tales of
creativity and play. Retrieved from
TedxTalks. (April 2013). "When Education Goes Wrong: Taking
Creativity and Play Out of Learning” by Dr. Nancy Carlsson Paige.
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZzFM1MHz_M.
Images: Slide 1:
Play Time Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuellar/3451660311/.
“Leader of the Pack.” Retrieved from http://i.imgur.com/k1yVI.jpg.
“If You Tickle Me…” Retrieved from http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumb5clIOP1lr_m3gkrtxh3eo1_500.jpg.
“Dog and Bee.” My own image.
My own images.
My own images.
Sensory Play Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcusandsue/8084226714/
Dialysis patients playing with a wheelchair.Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshhough/315563925/.
Young girl in her role as a laundress during a school play in Montevideo, Uruguay. Retrieved from
International Fountain Little Girl. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nonfinis/7554136116/.
My own images.
Don’t Grow Up It’s a Trap. Retrieved from http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9x4cqFayP1qavon7o1_500.jpg.
“Jack Inside Our Slide.” My own image.