Thursday, January 31, 2013

What is Play and Why Do We Do It?

Chapter 2 Notes

I am still sick. :(  And my voice keeps wandering away.  So I am drinking Hot Tea (with honey, lemon, and a half a shot of Jamesons' Whiskey), and not video-taping myself.

Properties of Play

Apparently Purposeless - Done for its own sake, doesn't help get food or money, not done for practical value

Voluntary - not obligatory or required by duty

Inherent Attraction - It is fun. It makes you feel good. It is exciting (provides psychological arousal), it is a cure for boredom.

Freedom From TIME - when fully engaged we lose track of time!

Diminished Consciousness from Self -  we stop worrying about how silly or awkward or good or stupid or smart we look.  We stop thinking about the fact that we are thinking. In Imaginitive Play we even become a different self! We exist fully in the moment

Improvisational Potential - We aren't locked in to a rigid way of doing things. We are open to chance, willing to include seemingly irrelevent elements

Continuation Desire - we want to keep going, find ways of keep doing it and when it is over we want to do it again!

Stuart Brown, M.D.  also mentions Scott Eberle's six step process for play.  So, I found Eberle's TEDx Talk (Rochester, NY) on play (If you want to go straight to the six-step process, click here.)

 My Most favorite part of the Chapter was about Hudson the Alaskan Dog and The Polar Bear.   I found a video about it! (The video is from later in the week when the Bear brought a friend and Hudson's doggy pals joined the fun too!)

After the story of Hudson and his Polar Bear best Buddy, Dr. Brown talks about a very sick boy and how his smile was the first sign that he was getting better.  This story reminded me of Patch Adams, you might remember the Robin Williams' movie, but I actually though of the real Patch Adams.
Here is a video where he and some students cheer up patients in a Hospital.
  I met Patch Adams, oh my, 15 years ago! He signed my shoe (which is in storage, I think.)  My pediatrician's office had built a new building and he came for the Grand Opening. 

While we were waiting in line to meet him, my sisters and I (ages 15, 14, 13, an 11) taught an eight-year old blind girl how to play Tag! She and her Mom were in front of us in line and my sister tagged the girl, including her in our play. Her mom started crying because her daughter had always wanted to play tag, which she'd heard of, but couldn't play because it is hard to chase someone you cannot see. But in our game you couldn't move your feet, you just tagged whoever you could reach! And you had to both touch the person and say "You're It!" (For those who are wondering, the "No Tag-backs" rule was not allowed.) 

 I tried to find a video on Bob Fagen's Grizzly Bears, and I found this ABC blog post about this very book, It talks about Hudson and the Polar Bear, and has a video of a snowboarding Crow!
Here is a video of two Bears wrestling:
And here is a video of a Raven rolling in snow:

I hope I get an A! Go Play!


  1. Awesome links- thanks! I love the story of how you met Patch Adams and played tag with the blind girl. Beautiful.

  2. Thanks. It is a fond memory! :) My dad was really proud of us, (Mom was at work) but at the time, we just shrugged it off, we didn't even realize she was blind when we included her, she was just another kid.