Definition of play from 1964

What do we mean by play?

  • Play is to create, to discover, to proceed in half-playful, half-serious mood to experiment with one's culture.
  • Play is to recreate one's environment: to rearrange it in accordance with one's own dictates.
  • Play is to master one's own physical self: to develop physical coordination and control; to cope with any kind of sport or physical activity.
  • Play is for exploring and adventuring in nature and science; for grappling with ideas.
  • Play is for mastering materials and tools; to work in a disciplined manner, allowing materials to suggest wholly new ideas.
  • Play is a way of verbalizing about one's world; of establishling physical images and patterns that relate.
  • Play is for construction and for achieving new forms; for artistic and aesthetic expression; for reworking one's creative faculties.
  • Play is for children what brain-storming is for adults.

All creative adults play.  The scientist plays, the artist plays, but they play on a higher level towards more exacting goals.  They play with ideas in science, in art, in music.  Out of this play they get the strength, ability, and courage to tackle the impossible; to discover new worlds.
Play, an essential of childhood, is wholly a creative activity requiring the careful selection of materials and tools; good toys are its tools.
Parents have an obligation to enrich and enlarge each child's horizon with a wide variety of creative playthings suitable to his particular attention span, interests, dexterity, and general capabilites.

Creative Playthings, 1964


  1. That's really good, Luisa. It pertains to adults as much as to children, I see. It made me think of how Ben can spend happy hours planning then creating in the garden - sheds, shelters, plant-stands etc. He's playing, isn't he? And with such helpful results, too... I've been playing with my scrapbooks recently, and Son 1 plays with language, and Son 2 plays with sticks and dirt... You've really got me thinking here - thanks!

  2. That is great, Floss! Play is what keeps us ALIVE, and happy, no?? Thank you for reminding me too, that I would like to spend some more time playing with my scrapbooking. ♥

  3. I knew it I'm still a child I play all day and everyday creating beautiful things. And 1964 that's my era we knew how to play in the dirt in the forest in the bush; barefoot and carefree.

  4. I hope then, that you 'never grow up', Grace of Autumn. ♥


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