Remember playing when you were a kid? Remember how much fun you had? I bet you are probably smiling and feeling a little bit less stressed already just thinking about it. That time is when you were doing some of the most intensive learning of your life. You just didn’t realize it. Why? Because it was fun.
Now think about when you started to get older and school came your way. uggghhhhh The further you climbed the education ladder the less playful and more regimented it became. Where’s the fun in that? Who says you can’t still play when learning? Oh right, the educational system.
One of the secrets to learning is to never grow up. Go back to fundamental kid principles. It’s my favorite way to teach. Heres a few reminders:
There is no place for dull, repetitive activities. Laughter, fun, and enjoyment, sometimes being whimsical and nonsensical, are the best contexts for learning. Activities can be playful even when they are not actually play. Lighten up.
Get in the arena
Deepen understanding by recreating experiences or communicating your thinking in many different ways – role-play, pictures, movements, models, and talk. Use your senses.
Playing – indoors and out, alone and with others, quietly or boisterously – allows you to find out about things, try out and practice ideas and skills, take risks, explore feelings, learn from mistakes, be in control and think imaginatively. Playing is the catalyst for ideas and learning.
Some of the greatest ideas in corporate america came when the shackles were taken off. Google, Apple, 3M, Zappos all foster a culture of play and innovation. Is there any wonder they changed the world? Post it Notes anyone?