Learning the ‘rules of play’

Learning the ‘rules of play’

Do you hold a particular view of play?

I have been creating visual posts to share some of my favourite quotes of play and this one is very telling. I found it to be a fun way of inviting conversation about play and attitudes towards play as it is such a vital part of my work with children and adults.

It has prompted some interesting and thought provoking questions which I intend to answer in this, and future posts.


What does it say if you don’t like games?

Can you play a game and not have winners and losers?


Attitudes and about winning and losing are certainly formed during play in young children.

Play helps develop positive attitudes and supports learning of strategy and problem solving through practice and repetition.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation" - Plato www.littleworldsinabigworld.com.png

It is possible that what we don’t like about play is the raw emotion that can be attached to it.

Not every person is a gracious winner or loser and for some it can lead to avoiding play altogether.  It can be frustrating, scary, sad or simply uncomfortable if rules are broken and arguments break out during play.

It is worth mentioning there are aspects of games that also require team work and collaboration, not only competition. Modelling and demonstrating positive attitudes invite joyful exchanges where learning can occur alongside fun and enjoyment for all.

Offering genuine support and encouragement and opportunities to learn and grow are vital for all players through unstructured play; in which skills are transferrable to games with rules. Although this takes time, practice and patience, it is worth the reward!