The Importance of Play

As an ex-nursery school teacher, I’ve ready many books about learning, and implemented many methods. One of the most important ways to teach young children is by play. Hard subjects and new skills are more easily digested when cloaked in singing, dancing, and games. That’s a way to build their self-esteem. Did you know that it’s easier to learn to read if you learn how to rhyme first? Bonus, it’s fun.

People go through cycles of childhood/child-like behavior, questing pre-teen/teenage/behavior, and varying stages of adulthood. It’s healthy, enabling them are to release tension and express emotions in a safe way.  Just as they learn to recognize and understand themselves, we should give them room to do so.

I think when adults play, whether exhibiting child-like curiosity, a teenager’s vulgarity and glee, or with more reserve, we shouldn’t judge them. Do you know their story? Have you asked what they need? Do you just want to hear yourself talk, uncaring if your harshness hurts their self-esteem, their small moment of satisfaction?

You never know which aspect of your character will tap you on the shoulder one day and say,

“Let’s play.”

As tough and unfeeling as the world can be, why criticize anyone’s joy of playing?

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Published in Interesting Stories


      1. Ms. K. Post author

        I love childhood memories of skipping rope while learning my vocabulary words, Star. When I do water Zumba, I skip and hum to myself, making myself and others laugh.
        It’s so much fun.

  1. starlette

    Hello Mrs K…….an interesting concept with the learning and rhyme……..I remember learning the alphabet in a singing fashion….and I do believe people who stutter do not do so when they sing….the brain works in mysterious ways……

    1. Ms. K. Post author

      Hello Walker. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts. So, you taught Maths? I’m sure your students appreciated your understanding and your approach. Here in Philly, I read about a Science teacher who used rap music to catch her student’s attention. Since I hated chemistry, I chortled at the thought of those hideous formulas being given an edgy tune.
      Happiness is well-deserved at our age. I think its brave of seniors to pursue it, when sometimes aches and pains, the conformity of our life’s, and others opinions press us to stay within our safe bubble.
      I say, get happy, learn a new dance, crack a naughty joke, and climb that mountain . . .if it’s going to make you happy.

  2. TheWalker


    What and interesting and thought provoking Blog. Thanks for writing it.

    I also taught at a rather different age group. My subject was Maths to adults who had failed the subject at an earlier stage of their life.

    Once I got over the realisation that I was the only person in the class that loved Maths (in fact the only one who liked it). I had to find ways of getting the concepts and rules of Maths over to these people. You are right if you find a way of playing and find fun ways for people to learn they retain it so much better.

    As I get older I continue to play. Everyone needs some fun in there life. We have worked enough and been serious enough in that life to be able to let our hair down a while. I like to smile and laugh and I feel better for it.

    While I still breathe I will always have time to play and have fun. I like to be happy and playing helps me to be that way. Everyone deserves happiness, use your way to get there.

  3. LoneRogue

    As a kid I enjoyed the time at a party at which we began bursting balloons. I feel it was a time beyond the festivity portion of the party and the balloon purpose had served it purpose. I remember it as a spontaneous reaction by what I thought was a total feeling by all participants.

    I freely admit to having a near total lack of ability to resist “bursting” what I consider “bullshit balloons”.

    The problem arises that not all see any or all balloons as the “billshit” which I see in some of them.

    It not being one of my goals in life to please everyone. I have and will continue to burst balloons some of which will be received with great hostility.

    I may have greatly misunderstood this post and if so, I do apologize for that.

    1. Ms. K. Post author

      Lone, nothing to apologize for. I enjoyed your response, and applaud your BS balloon bursting attitude, lol. Good for you, for not caring what others think. I’ve had to learn that, in some ways. I’m not as fiercely brave as you, or Star, for that matter, though I wish I was.
      In defending my sense of fun and my need to be happy, I feel great peace.

  4. roseinbloom

    MsK. I agree that play is a good way to teach and it should be used as much as possible. I am not good at playing. I usually tire of an activity after a certain amount of time. Cooking and sewing and gardening were fun for me but now I don’t like them much. I will still look for new ways to play because it is very good to have fun things to do.

    1. Ms. K. Post author

      Rose, perhaps physical play isn’t your strong suits, but what about mental? I dearly love my solitaire, and word plays. Do you like poetry or enjoy reading? There’s nothing like a good book to submerse yourself in someone else’s adventure. I’m glad you’re open to new play, for you’re a delightful lady, and deserve to have fun. K.

      1. roseinbloom

        Ms.K. Thank you. I will keep an open mind. I do like poetry and reading but right now I am not excited by either. I read on the computer a lot.

  5. Abhilaaj

    A great blog..K.
    You know I taught English literature at College level for a while. We had 9 Shakespearean plays at Masters level, some were rather tough to understand.
    HOW did I make them interesting?
    By PLAY..
    Yes we staged them wherever we got the place canteen, in common room, in my small cabin..Best way to enjoy the great bard is to PLAY..
    I do so even now..ask a friend or on line friend to play say Portia as I play sat Shylock.
    Thanks or sharing and taking me down the memory lane.

    1. Ms. K. Post author

      Hi Abhilaaj, so lovely hearing from you again! I’m not able to read any messages as I’m not a full member, so it saddened me to leave yours unanswered. Why am I not surprised that you were an English professor? I’m sure your students thoroughly enjoyed reliving the Bard’s words in play. On another site, a friend and I converse using snippets from Pride and Prejudice, A Christmas Carol, and whichever book suits the moment. Yesterday, I tried to trick him with Hemingway, lol. Today, I’m going by way of Elizabeth Barrett Browning! I hope to heaven he doesn’t toss Tolstoy at me!

  6. Linda

    Wonderful post. Thanks for reminding us how important play is in our lives. I retired from working in the field of Parks and Recreation. It was my job to bring joy and improved quality of life. Recreation and play improves our lives. Under the umbrella of fun we can teach young people all about working with others, connecting to new friends, Adults can find benefits of play the same way. It helps with depression, it allows for laughter which improves our attitude. We get old when we don’t play. One of the reasons I joined SC, it was nice to be able to make new friends and laugh with others. I have been gone for a while, but when I was here all the time, I created stories and events in a group. You could tell the children at heart members, they helped to create stories, games and make others feel good.

    Thanks for the post.

    1. Ms. K. Post author

      Thank you for enjoying the post, and enriching us with your cheerful remembrances, Linda. You sound like a special lady, who truly thinks of bringing joy to others. K.

  7. vonMichael

    That way of teaching is as old as people are. Example; take a look to the near
    Easr where children lern to handle wappons when they are ver young. With
    the warnings to the adults that children adopt doings from the adults even
    shooting and killing by not knowing what they are doing. Michael

  8. Ms. K. Post author

    Your depressing answer isn’t exactly the response I had in mind, Von. That’s my honesty, and I’m not trying to be rude, but geez, what the heck?? People play – in whatever form that suits them, to forget the horrible horrors, devastating depravities, and ugliness in the world.
    My point is, let them play. It’s healthier than focusing continuously on bad things. I’m not starting a fight here, Okay?

  9. Abhilaaj

    Hi Ms K, you look a woman of literature. Kudos..
    You know his ‘Farewell to arms’ was my favorite in college days.
    If I am able to work for about 10/12 hrs on writing during nights and create more than 4000 poems and 70 short stories it is thanks to his saying.
    ”There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
    Ernest Hemingway.
    MANY thanks for such thoughtful blogs..Keep it up.

    1. Ms. K. Post author

      Abhilaaj, I appreciate your compliments. Many thanks. You’re quite the Bard in your own right. Hemingway was right. Writing is bleeding your heart all over the paper. I love it, and i’m sure you do to0. Have a lovely weekend, my friend.

  10. rose1943

    To those who are interested in this subject I think you would love the writings of Sir Kenneth Robinson. He is a motivational writer and speaker connecting creativity and education. And what a terrific sense of humor! You can also see him on YouTube. Give it a whirl.

  11. vonMichael

    Hi Ms.K.
    You’ve touched a very complex subject as you may know? The way of learning
    contains out of many special facts whereby cognition, visualisation, listening
    (hearing ) and adaptation play primary roles in a mix of methods for the
    Another example shows what I mean; a baby learns to use the spoon from its
    mother. If its mother sings or hums a special melody while giving the spoon
    to the child, the baby will associate the melody with the use of a spoon
    a lifetime long.
    We learn a foreign much, much easier if a special melody stands behind a
    certain theme like: theme from a summer place for instance. Michael

  12. Ms. K. Post author

    This blog is about enhancing and not judging older people’s fun, everyone! I used teaching children only as an example.