Play to learn

I’ve recently had a break from all things work and research related to concentrate on a new addition to our family. Slowly my mind has been getting back on track and I’ve found myself writing, thinking and reading more about things not related to babies!

Watching our little girl start to learn how to grasp objects, develop hand-eye coordination and generally figure out how she relates to the world around her I was reminded of a quote that stuck in my head from some text written by Chris Crawford (1982). I went back to re-read it and to correctly post the quote here:

“Children are expected to play games because we recognize (perhaps unconsciously) the
fundamental utility of games as an educational tool. As children grow up, cultural pressures change and they are encouraged to devote less time to the playing of games so that they can devote themselves to more serious activities”.

I agree with a lot that Chris has written in this article (games as an art form, play for learning, motivations for playing games) the taxonomy of computer games section is a nice run through of many ‘classic’ games and his thoughts on the future of computer games are very accurate!

It makes me smile to read, “computer games satisfy a fundamental desire for active recreation, and as such are assured of bright future”.

But back to my original thought – at home we are frequently playing little games to encourage our daughter to learn new skills, from peek-a-boo to hide the rattle (!), and as she grows I’m certain that she will develop social skills, language skills, visualisation skills and many more through game play. Truth be told I’m quite excited as I’m hoping to get to play a lots of them with her! …. Which brings to mind one of my favourite quotes

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing” ( which I believe is attributed to George Bernard Shaw)

I hope it’s true because if so I reckon I’ll be ever youthful 😀

Childs play

Childs play

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