The Importance of Play

An adult sees a stick and thinks; a broken branch from a tree. A child sees a stick and thinks; ‘I am Knight Zorlord and this is my sword. I am sworn protector of my kingdom and enemy of the smelly dragon Dwane (that bully at school)’… Then off he trots on an epic adventure in the hunt for this evil beast, Dwane.

It’s this innocent and open mind that children possess that allows them to be so creative. Their first choice may not be the most logical but it’s certainly the most fun. Tom Wujec talks about a team building exercise he runs where teams of four build a tower out of marshmallows and sticks, all aiming to build the tallest tower. He has run this workshop with the smartest minds in business, academics, engineers and kindergartens. Guess who manages to build the tallest tower every time…

I am Knight Zorlord and this is my sword. I am sworn protector of my kingdom…

I believe that we all can learn a little from children on how to think differently. Life can be serious with important issues and tricky problems, but bringing an open mind to the table allows you to bring a solution to the table that isn’t stifled by assumptions and preconceptions. In our profession, creativity is key. We encourage our designers not to be stifled by the ‘what has beens’ and the ‘what ifs’… but to roll up their sleeves and give it a go, having fun in the process.

Some call it thinking outside of the box, I prefer to think of it as being a little more like Knight Zorlord and slaying the dragon of grownups!


– Chris

Safer Kids Inverclyde

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Unity Grill

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