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Time to play

April 26, 2010

I recently did some workshops at a private boy’s school. The younger kids were all making ATCs (artist trading cards) for their “arts week”, and I was asked to come in to do workshops with the teachers and parents. At the beginning of one of the workshops, a parent asked me about the educational value of ATCs. I had to really think about how to answer that question. I mentioned the value of interacting with another person during a trade, being open to new styles of art etc. etc. and I also said that sometimes it’s just about having fun. She didn’t look convinced. Later on in the workshop, I overheard her commenting to her friend about how much fun she was having and how she should make more time in her life to do creative things.

Another mother came up and told me that she had almost skipped the session because she was so busy working and didn’t think we would miss her. She said she was so glad that she decided to set aside her work for an hour or two to do something fun. I told her that I was glad she had come too and that I would have missed her.

I did a little informal poll with the other  parents and asked them how often they spent time just doodling or playing with glue and scissors, and they were unanimous in their answers: NEVER!

I was very glad for them at on that afternoon at least they had all chosen to take some time to play.

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