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The Spirit of Adult Play

After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
Italian Proverb

In her Exchange article, "The Spirit of Adult Play" Bonnie Neugebauer observes that many must relearn the joys of playfulness. To do so, she suggests, they must be willing to spend freely, to squander, to waste (if you will), to be extravagant with their:

Time — Play must exist in a context of timelessness. The process is valued beyond the outcome of the play, so it must be possible to continue the experience across blocks of time, even across days and weeks. The play must find its own end, just as it found its own beginning....

Sense of Self — Play requires that one forget oneself. If self-conscious about their play, about how others will view either their play or the products of their play, children and adults are crippled. Their play is distorted by other consciousness.

Sense of Order — Play demands a certain amount of chaos. There must be room for using things and doing things in new ways. Play equipment and space must be flexible to meet the changing needs of the players. There must be storage for uncompleted play, and respect for unfinished spaces. Players require a degree of uncertainty and support for taking risks. Play is nurtured when there is no labeling of wrong and right.

Joy — Play without enjoyment is just plain hard work. Players need to laugh, and boast, and practice. There are many choices to be made, and each is a challenge. Play brings out the best in each of us.

CD Books on Sale

The article "The Spirit of Adult Play" is included in the new Exchange CD Book, Developing Capable, Creative Teachers. This is one of three CD Books recently introduced by Exchange. You can now buy all three new CD Books for a special package price of $60 (a 20% discount!). These CD Books address the following topics with more than 160 Exchange articles:

Developing Capable, Creative Teachers
Leading People in Early Childhood Settings
Taking Stock: Tools and Strategies for Evaluating Programs, Directors, Teachers, and Children

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