There is a powerful connection between play and social equality. When children play together, they develop important social skills they will use for the rest of their lives. Play is an important factor in shaping a child's path to becoming an adult who accepts others and treats them as equals.
The Science Behind Play and Social Skills
There's a great TED Talk about this subject. In it, Dr. Stuart Brown, MD, founder of the National Institute for Play, described how play impacts social development in humans. Here are some of the highlights from the talk:
- Play makes you more adaptable and flexible in changing situations
- Social play is essential to helping children make meaningful connection with others
- Play promotes creative thinking and equips children to be problem-solvers
Play has a profound impact on our brains. It helps us learn how to regulate our emotions, engage in conversations, work through differences, and respect others' feelings.
How Play Promotes Social Equity
Tom Norquist is a board member of the National Institute for Play. He studies play and its benefits for children and adults. He has invented some of the most popular playground products in the world.
He's seen the power of play firsthand. Regardless of age, race, or culture, everyone can enjoy play. And playing together breaks down social barriers.
“It’s natural for all people to be in a playful state together,” says Norquist. “We laugh. We play. We have a good time. That shapes the way I feel about people for the rest of my life.”
Tom Norquist talks about how play brings people together and shapes the way people feel about one another
Learn More About the Importance of Play
GameTime’s parent company, PlayCore, has many resources to help you be an advocate for play. Whether you want to design inclusive play spaces or encourage children and families to be more active together, we have research and programming to equip you.
Contact one of the GameTime play experts in your neighborhood to learn more. Let’s work together to create a more equitable and playful world for generations to come.