Remember the days of making up your own games, playing hot lava monster on the local playground, and creating elaborate fantasy worlds with your fellow elvish explorers? A child’s amazing ability to create detailed and expressive worlds and characters, without any outside help, is one of the most fascinating wonders of childhood. What happens when we take away children’s ability to play freely and creatively, and replace it with adult-directed, structured play? What are the children losing? I believe that they are losing education. What do you think?
“[A]s a society, we have come to the conclusion that to protect children from danger and to educate them, we must deprive them of the very activity that makes them happiest and place them for ever more hours in settings where they are more or less continually directed and evaluated by adults, setting almost designed to produce anxiety and depression.”
For more information about children and play, check out John Holt’s book: How Children Learn.