Playing in Pursuit of Serious Stuff

When you can’t go forward and you can’t go backward

 and you can’t stay where you are

without killing off what is deep and vital in yourself,

you are on the edge of creation

Sue Monk Kidd 

I don’t know about you, but I sense that I am on this edge of creation.  And I have a gut feeling that learning more about how to play in pursuit of really serious stuff is part of the new thing that needs creating.  Can’t say it makes sense yet, but that’s often the way it goes when we’re creating something new.

As an educator, educator-in-training, or a mom, I’m guessing you are an advocate of play in some way shape or form. 

Maybe your support of play is very personal and private.  You’ve invested in purchasing toys for your children to enhance their play.  You’ve added some Legos to your classroom or 15 minutes of free play to the daily schedule.  You’ve played Candyland or Legos or tea parties for the 97th time because your child wanted to.  Maybe you invest a lot in supporting your child’s love of lacrosse, or dance, or music, or photography.  Maybe you plan indoor recess when outdoor recess is cancelled.

Or maybe your support of play is a bit bigger.  You’ve volunteered at a local park to clean up the space or donated to an organization that builds playgrounds in underserved communities.  You’ve have created active play-centered lessons in your classroom even though you know you could get in trouble for deviating from the standard curriculum.  Maybe you’ve gone to the school board to fight for more recess time in your district.  Maybe you led a toy drive for the local homeless shelter.

If you’re anything like me you are all on board with the idea that children need to play, but do you think that play is an actual need for adults?