It is easy to feel totally overwhelmed in the day to day – or at least, it’s easy for me! This summer, I was lucky enough to spend the summer at Play:Ground, the spectacular new adventure playground in New York City. The days were long and hot and I came home every day to sit on the couch for about fifteen minutes before slumping sideways. It was beautiful, exhausting, and full of daily marvels.
Like everyone else on site, I left sweat and blood in that dirt. I took home scraps of paper with moments caught in a few tiny words, hoping I’d be able to write them up before their magic faded. That is where things fell apart, because much as I love to write I was simply too tired each day to make use of them. Playwork and writing both require a sort of wrestling, whether with one’s own discomfort or children or words. I find both absorbing, rewarding and transformational – which means that it’s too easy for me to forget to actually play, and do things that are fun purely for their own sake.
Suzanna helps me, and a lot of people, by posting daily reminders to play on our Facebook page. Even so, in our society valuing play is still nothing short of revolutionary. It might make a public statement by claiming space, or signify a more private shift in priorities. For lots of us who advocate for children’s right to play, it can be hard to remember our own.
So, how do you play? What helps you to remember its importance, to return when you’ve been away too long?