Category Archives: Play

The Play Theory of Hunter-Gatherer Egalitarianism

Play counters the tendency to dominate, in humans and in other mammals. Most remarkably, unlike any other people that have been studied, hunter-gatherers appear to lack hierarchy in social organization. They have no chief or big man, no leaders or … Continue reading

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When Children Play, They Follow the Golden Rules of Fairness

Fairness makes play possible, and children learn fairness in play. Anyone who has spent much time observing children plays independently of adult control knows that they are very concerned with fairness. “That’s not fair” is among the most common phrases … Continue reading

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Play Is Disappearing From Kindergarten, Hurting Kids.

In an increasing number of schools, teachers of very young students are pressured to pack every moment of the day with structured, academically rigorous tasks. One recent whitepaper linked the practice to preparing kids for the long road of schooling … Continue reading

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Spontaneous Play in the Language Classroom – Creating a Community

The seed of an idea which eventually germinated and became the research project on which this volume is based was sown while I was working as an English language teacher. For a long time, I was employed by an organization which, for the … Continue reading

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The Positive Relationships of Playfulness With Indicators of Health, Activity, and Physical Fitness

Adult playfulness is a personality trait that enables people to frame or reframe everyday situations in such a way that they experience them as entertaining, intellectually stimulating, or personally interesting. Earlier research supports the notion that playfulness is associated with … Continue reading

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Playing with your Children: Should You, and If So, How?

If you Google around the Internet with such search phrase as “playing with children,” you will find lots of experts telling you how important parent-child play is for both parties. They describe it as a way for you to bond … Continue reading

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The Long Evolutionary History of Play

Play has long been considered an enigmatic behavior that is hard to define, but having many putative functions difficult to confirm. This situation is changing quite rapidly in recent years. This introduction to a special issue on play provides some … Continue reading

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Children: The Play deficit

When I was a child in the 1950s, my friends and I had two educations. We had school (which was not the big deal it is today), and we also had what I call a hunter-gather education. We played in … Continue reading

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Hierarchy, Freedom and Learning

We, humans, have two fundamentally different ways of governing ourselves in social groups. One is the method of hierarchy, or dominance, or force. I need not describe this method in detail; we are all too familiar with it. This is … Continue reading

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Vygotsky and Creativity: A Cultural-historical Approach to Play, Meaning Making, and the Arts

This text presents a Vygotskian perspective on children’s and adults’ symbolic engagement in play, multi-modal meaning making, and the arts. Psychologists, artists, and educators present research and practice in a variety of learning environments through the lens of Vygotsky’s cultural … Continue reading

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