Our United Voice

Play. It's Important to Our Kids' Success.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Claude Stephens
Facilitator of Outreach &
Regenerative Design
Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest
If our aim is to create a generation of creative leaders well versed in social justice, primed for exploring the world and ready to address the mounting challenges of the future…we would get out of the way when children play. But for the most part, that is not what we do. We adults tend to schedule, plan, control, design and engineer most of the real value out of play. Worse, we undervalue play as a pastime.

“Play is the highest form of research.”
– Albert Einstein

Ask anyone over fifty about their experience with play growing up and they will likely tell you that their parents showed them the door in the morning and then rang the bell when it was time for supper. Between those moments children were engaged “in the highest form of research.”

Children are drawn to trees. A large downed tree will hold a child’s
attention far longer than any engineered climbing structure.