Power of Play

Lhasa, Tibet

Mobile Mini Circus for Children, Kabul, Afghanistan

Life is playfulness.
We need to play so that we can
rediscover the magic all around us.
– Flora Colao

Forte Di Bard, Italy

We are never more fully alive,
more completely ourselves,
or more deeply engrossed in anything,
than when we are at play.
– Charles Schaefer

La Fortuna, Honduras


Creative people are curious,
flexible, persistent, and independent with a
tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.
– Henri Matisse


Men do not quit playing because they grow old;
they grow old because they quit playing.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Paris, France

Play energizes us and enlivens us.
It eases our burdens.
It renews our natural sense of optimism
and opens us up to new possibilities.
– Stuart Brown

Umbria, Italy

As we play, we open ourselves
to the exploration of our edges, always
creating new adventures of self-exploration.
– Judith-Annette Milburn

Darjeeling, India

Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.
– Johan Huizinga

Shaolin Monastery, China

Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.
– Diane Ackerman

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Play is training for the unexpected.
– Marc Bekoff

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations
to move beyond the bounds of reality.
A stick can be a magic wand; a sock can be a puppet.
A small child can be a superhero.
– Fred Rogers


People tend to forget that play is serious.
– David Hockney


A little nonsense now and then,
is cherished by the wisest men.
– Roald Dahl

Havana, Cuba

A child loves his play,
not because it’s easy,
but because it’s hard.
– Benjamin Spock

Lhasa, Tibet

Play is the exultation of the possible.
– Martin Buber

Washington Square Park, New York, USA

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Play, while it cannot change the
external realities of children’s lives,
can be a vehicle for children to explore,
enjoy their differences and similarities,
and to create, even for a brief time,
a more just world where everyone is
an equal and valued participant.
– Patrica G. Ramsey


Mobile Mini Circus for Children

About Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today’s finest image-makers, has won many of photography’s top awards.
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37 Responses to Power of Play

  1. Anonymous says:

    OMG words fail me. You captured such poignancy & beauty. Thank you. 😍

  2. asriyananda says:

    What a wonderful work ! The pictures are stunning and alive. I love them all with quotes.

  3. Jitu Jhaveri says:

    It was great to be a child again! Thank you very much.

  4. syarief76 says:

    Your Photos always amazing, thanks for sharing and inspiring

  5. Mary says:

    Thank you Steve for your amazing photos and for reminding us how joyous play really is.

  6. yu in kol says:

    WoW!!! I enjoyed so much!!!!

  7. For children of all ages play is the difference between growing old and growing up.
    Thank you Steve for another gem in my inbox.

  8. Such a collection of joy!!!

  9. hyun ah kwon says:

    I meet a dreaming world with your picture s!

  10. Pingback: The power of play – Capacity Building for Sustainable Development

  11. Thank you for sharing wonderful fun times 🙂

  12. Fabulous! Play is everywhere, and in so many forms. Thank you for seeing it and for delivering it to our eyes. Lovely!

  13. you inspire me. life unravels all around us, always, first coming then gone; yet it is the moments captured that live on forever. http://www.armandthomas.com

  14. Mititelu Dumitru FOTOgrafie says:


  15. Myrna says:

    Thank you for this. When I write poetry or paint, I call it my play time. But you remind me that to use my body more and move playfully is a lot of fun too, and so healing.

  16. pmdello says:

    Yes, this post affirms the child that still resides in me seven decades along.

  17. Hanna says:

    So much joy and wisdom combined with sublime photos!

  18. paula graham says:

    Gorgeous and confirms that children do not need hundreds of expensive toys that need no imagination.

  19. josseline boisis says:

    Dear Steve ,when I’m down,I take my camera ,and walk in the streets,to smell life, and feel alive with all little things I can catch outside instead to stay home and desesperated ,because of you and your love for life,I feel the same for reality and people,so I don’t want to stay inside myself and want to share life with others with pictures!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    never never do i not enjoy your photos. you capture so much

  21. restlessjo says:

    So many wonderful images, but that last one I had to go back to! 🙂 🙂

  22. Mansukh Shah says:

    Thank you Stevebhai for these superb photos .

    Life is a play.

    “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realise it is play.”

  23. Beautiful and inspiring as always. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Kim DeLong says:

    I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 3:25 PM, Steve McCurry’s Blog wrote:

    > Steve McCurry posted: ” Life is playfulness. We need to play so that we > can rediscover the magic all around us. – Flora Colao We are never more > fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in > anything, than when we are at play. – Charles Schae” >

  25. says:

    Very Nice

  26. Elizabeth Martyn says:

    Dear Steve, Glorious photos. Joyful and inspiring. Thank you. Love from Melbourne , Australia

  27. Mike says:

    Play is why we enjoy every single moment with our young grandchildren. Their life is an open book and playing with them is a joy. Keeps us young a heart.

  28. Hi everyone, funny, ‘m photographer and last year I posted the same kind of series on my website, I called it “NEVER STOP PLAYING”, with pictures I took around the world on this same theme. Please have a look here 🙂 I want to share it with you all > http://www.parcheminsdailleurs.com/SITE_ANGLAIS/PLAYen.html

  29. Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder to play. Creative people need to do this often! Your photos convey this brilliantly as always! Thank you for sharing Steve!

  30. MacLindhe says:

    Great photos, as always! 👌🏼

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