The four pillars of play

Children are inclined to creative exploration and imagining.

Give a child a box of blocks and you’re giving them everything they need to create castles, houses, entire planets, robot friends, and so much more. Give an adult a box of blocks though and… well, you probably won’t see as much innovative construction.

Why is that?

Laura Seargeant Richardson shows us that the reason adults – and now more often than not: older children – lack open minds is because we are designed to be players in the game of life, rather than creators.

In The Four Secrets of Playtime That Foster Creative Kids Laura walks us through what it takes to ensure children maintain their creative attitudes as they grow older, but the article also demonstrates what it takes to make anyone rekindle youthful creativity. Laura writes: “All adults ultimately need to re‒imagine how we can enable and support [change] … The answer may lie in four foundational pillars of play: open environments, flexible tools, modifiable rules, and superpowers.”

The article does a lot to describe the creative crunch we’re imposing on children these days, but also demonstrates a lot of the unnecessary restrictions we place on adults and ourselves as well.

Read the entire article (I promise it’s worth five minutes) and consider this question for today: how can you use open environments, flexible tools, modifiable rules (even if you have to make them up yourself), and imaginary superpowers to become more creative today? What’s stopping you?