The Exploration of The Possible: TED Talks on the Importance of Play

Last Thursday, I was arrested at school. Twice. You see, several younger students were playing police station in the Kid Nook. They set up a desk, they had fake cameras for evidence, and they had a tablet for documenting their cases. So twice they hauled me in for questioning and charges. The game lasted several days, and roles changed and evolved. While they had fun, their extended, imaginative play exemplified the mysterious process of play at Fairhaven School, and now I am writing to share some recent media investigation of the inestimable value of play in growth and development.

Last week’s TED talk focused on play from several different perspectives, including why playing is crucial to human development, play in bonobo monkeys, and the positive benefits of playing video games. Since (along with conversation) play is the most common activity at Fairhaven School, we are always reassured by the conclusion of scientists and thinkers that our students are spending their time on something crucial and beneficial.

From one of the segments, Dr. Stuart Brown reaches the following conclusion:

“…at any point in a lifetime, whether it’s your lifetime now or mine in my early 80s, it [play] is a very necessary part of being human. And so when you are in a state of play, part of your frontal lobe gets unhooked, and a lot more associations that are all over the rest of the brain kind of join in like a symphony.”

And what beautiful music we make. Here is a link to the entire program, where you can find additional links to stories about play. Ultimately, play is serious business! (Yes, even writing blog posts can be playful.)

Mark McCaig

March, 2015

Fairhaven School Staff
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