Greetings and Happy Midweek,
Today is a special day here in America as we inaugurate our new President. The world will also be watching...it’s the beginning of a new era for all of us. There’s much work to be done, which brings me to my topic for today which is...PLAY!
They say a child’s work is their play. And, as I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of spending time in recent months with my infant verging on toddler grandson, I’ll add that an adult’s work, as we participate in a child’s play, is to figure out what that play look likes and how it can in fact serve both child and adult.
Several lessons I learned cross-culturally while living, working and yes - playing among the Jola children of southern Senegal, include that play, using very simple and common things which are already part of everyday life, can be spontaneous, fulfilling and educational. A piece of wire is fashioned into a car - vroom, vroom. Discarded tire rims, sticks and a rutted lane become the makings of a major raceway. A cow-chewed mango pit, split in half, becomes the cup into which a twip on a string can be pitched and retrieved, and pitched and retrieved again. What FUN!!
Thinking back on those experiences and how they delighted and taught our whole family as we joined in (kids and adults alike), I realize I have the opportunity to rediscover the dynamics, strategies, challenges and yes - innovations of playing, happily bringing cross-cultural insights like these down onto the floor mat where my grandson and I are playing these days.
In light of America and the whole world’s work which lies ahead, I suggest it’s a great time for us all, no matter what age we are, to include some play in our schedules.
How about for you - what’s a favorite play memory or game you play now? Take a minute and share about that with a friend or share it here...and no matter how busy you are, have some FUN today! It’ll ‘work’ out - I promise you.
Until next week,
Global SKILLs LINKs
A wonderful ‘history of African wire toys’ with a call to action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al_23KGJzYU
A more academic treatise on child’s play: https://fessyblog.org/play-is-the-work-of-childhood-but-is-it-beneficial-2/#:~:text=But%20as%20psychologist%20Jean%20Piaget,%2C%20play%20is%20serious%20learning.%E2%80%9D&text=And%20independent%20creative%20play%20gives%20children%20the%20opportunity%20to%20develop%20confidence.
An inspiring project by a young social-entrepreneur to create safe play zones for children around the world, especially those in unsafe places: https://www.playfollies.com/
2021 ~ Celebrating 40 years of working in
intercultural communications and global community building
Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community