Play

At Riverstone Village, members are free to play all day every day. They can play fantasy games or fitness games; they can play with lego or woodwork or advanced mathematics; they can play at cooking or coding or learning Japanese; they can play at pottery-making or sense-making or dress-making; they can play music or monopoly or debating or permaculture gardening or any of a thousand other things – it’s all play. 

Some parents worry that play all day will fail to develop discipline and perseverance. The opposite is true. Every day we watch autonomously motivated kids tackle bigger and bigger challenges and find ways to do what it takes – yes, even the not-fun bits needed to make the fun-bits possible. Discipline and perseverance are damaged when other people push us and control us, and when we start to feel that our activity is ‘work’ – draining and oppressive. If you look at the highest achievers in our world, the hardest workers of all, they are the ones who love what they do. The spirit of play is well worth preserving.

Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Mark Twain

You are what you do. If you do boring, stupid, monotonous work, chances are you’ll end up boring, stupid, and monotonous.

Bob Black

The opposite of play is not work. It’s depression.

Brian Sutton-Smith

The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light, motion, gravity, muscular force….

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.

Leo Buscaglia

Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.

Joseph Chilton Pearce

For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.

Penelope Leach

Play… is nature’s means of ensuring that mammals and young human beings, acquire the skills that they need to develop successfully into adulthood.

“Play is where children learn they are in control of their own life; when we take that away we don’t give them a chance to learn how to control their own life. Play is where they learn to solve their own problems and to learn the world is not so scary after all. Play is where they learn to get along with peers and see from other points of view and practice empathy.

“It’s the self-directed aspect of play that gives it its educative power.

Dr Peter Gray

It’s incorrect to conceive of play as an activity without purpose…creating an imaginary situation can be regarded as a means for developing abstract thought.

A child’s greatest achievements are possible in play, achievements that tomorrow will become her basic level of real action.

Lev Vygotsky

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw

One might feel …that play is fine for little children, and even the best thing for them, but that after a while they must outgrow it and learn more ‘serious’ or ‘adult’ ways of learning. This would be a great mistake. The fact is that in their play children are very often doing things very much like what adults do in their work. Like the economist, the traffic engineer, the social planner, or the computer expert, children at play often make models of life or certain parts of life, models they hope are a fair, if simpler, representation of the world, so that by working these models they may attain some idea of how the world works or might work or what they might do in it.

John Holt

Play can be the long-sought bridge back to that deep emotional bond between parent and child. Play, with all its exuberance and delighted togetherness, can ease the stress of parenting. Playful Parenting is a way to enter a child’s world, on the child’s terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence, and connection.

Lawrence Cohen

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