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



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