The more I learn about the importance of play and its many benefits, the more I wonder why it is relatively scarce in everyday life. Even as a staunch advocate for play, in my life it accounts for only a few minutes out of each day. It’s easy to see the same paucity of play in friends, schools, and workplaces. If you agree with my observation that the presence of play in our lives seems to be inversely related to its value, then this is something we need to explore further.
s a designer of play apparatus and spaces I try to insure my projects will be of high value to children by including attributes that I have learned are required to create a great play setting. For example, does the environment link activities and allow the play to flow? Does it support social interaction? Are there various degrees of challenges? etc. If you create or buy playgrounds, I’m sure you use similar criteria. Lately I have begun to see that this way of evaluating a play space is looking at play as a product rather than an experience. To begin to create truly innovative projects, I needed to find a new way of thinking about designing based on a deeper sense of play rather than just focus on the physical objects.