Play is Serious Business

No matter how dire the situation, how dangerous the environment,  children need to play. Whether it is splashing in puddles or climbing on abandoned tanks, their world of make believe is almost as important as food and shelter.

Lebanon, 1982
Mauritania, 1986

More than just a chance to have fun, play is serious business when it comes to a child’s health and development. From peek-a-boo to pat-a-cake and hide-and-seek to hopscotch, the many forms of play enrich a child’s brain, body and life in important ways.

-Michael Yogman, MD

Mali, 1986

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

Flora Colao

Burma, 1995
Cambodia, 1998

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

– Henri Matisse

Tibet, 2004

Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.

-Diane Ackerman

Cambodia, 1999
Madagascar, 2019

Play is training for the unexpected.

-Marc Bekoff

Cuba, 2015
Mongolia, 2018

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

Burma, 2011
Cuba, 2019

People tend to forget that play is serious.

-David Hockney

China, 2004
India, 1983

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

-Benjamin Spock, M.D.

France, 1988

USA, 2007
Philippines, 2014

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.

-Patricia G. Ramsey

Puerto Rico, 2022
Yemen, 1997

Play is the highest form of research.

-Albert Einstein



Pier ⅔ Walsh Bay
Suite 3/13A Hickson Road, Dawes Point, 2000
Sydney, Australia

Wed, Apr 12, 2023  Sun, Aug 13, 2023


Istanbul Sinema Müzesi
Kuloğlu, İstiklal Cd. No 131/A
Istanbul, Turkey

Sat, Apr 15, 2023  Sun, Jul 30, 2023


Museo degli Innocenti
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, 13
Florence, Italy

Fri, May 19, 2023  Sun, Oct 8, 2023


Semper Depot
Lehárgasse 6-8
Vienna, Austria

Fri, Jul 7, 2023  Sun, Sep 24, 2023

By Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

To read more about Steve go to

19 replies on “Play is Serious Business”

Hi Steve. Do you by chance do online photography mentoring for a fee? I sent a message to “general inquiries” on your website, but did not hear back yet. Is there a way to reach out to you via email? I’ve left my details in the box below.

I agree with you Steve, the Child’s Act says that; ” children has the right to Play, education, food, shelter and clothing. It’s no doubt that this is there basic rights.

People think play is what children do when they have nothing better to do!
In fact. Play IS the better thing to do!!

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