Play First - Work Later!

Have you ever seen the way a child’s face transforms when he or she conceives an idea for play? They light up from within and their whole being is instantly animated as they share what they will be , what each friend’s role will be, what the aim of the tableaux is, the heroes, the villains, the obstacles to overcome, villains to vanquish etc. etc.

The value of play is well recognized, documented and recommended by modern pedagogues.

Play fosters Leadership, Creativity and Problem Solving.

Play encourages Cooperation, Team Work and Healthy Socialization.


Do you ever look for childhood’s influence in the grown-up world?
One lovely spring day I roller bladed across the Toronto waterfront trail – a shear, exhilarating experience that evoked the simple and total childlike pleasure of exuberant motion! When I got tired I put on my shoes and continued walking.

There are two views along the Toronto beach-side trail – the lake on one side and a condominium city – a panoramic expanse of geometric architecture on the other side. Looking at the two, I had a sudden vision that amused me. I felt like I was seeing a grown-up’s vision of a child’s seascape where sandcastles hold back the mightiest tides, and indeed, many of the condominium designs featured turrets, terraces and gardens – all features I can remember using to embellish the sandcastles of my childhood.

At that point I began concentrating more closely on the designs of these condos. I framed them between my thumbs and index fingers. I imagined them being assembled like mega-blocks from a 3 year old’s toy box. Then, as I gazed at this urban skyline, I started turning an imaginary dial with my right hand and remembered the fun of using that simple but timeless and still popular toy – the Etch-a-sketch. I’m sure that the designers of those buildings share similar memories.

Perhaps more than anything, a playful childhood is what creates creative, successful adults. This is a good argument is support of the “deprogramming school of thought.” The opinion held by many parents, educators and psychologists that our children have become too busy with lessons and organized activities.

Never underestimate the value of unstructured play time – both for your children and for your playful child within! Get out and have FUN as often as you can!

Judi Hopper is a 51 years young, aspiring writer, videographer and mother to 3 boys. In the summer she can be seen tearing up the roller blade trails! See more of Judi at

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