Play. Seems like a simple concept. We’ve all done it, and if we’re lucky, even as adults, our lives still include some play. I was reminded of its importance when a local school board passed a resolution about play, stating:

X School District believes that ample time for student-driven, unstructured play must be included among the essential learning experiences in the education of our students. Beyond physical activity, these experiences include imaginative play, creative/constructive play, and games with rules. Student engagement in undirected, freely chosen activities is an essential component of healthy human development as well as a necessity for social/emotional, physical, and cognitive growth of children.

Kudos to this school district for recognizing what we all know: Play, downtime and relaxed/unstructured time are essential for humans. Play allows children to figure out things on their own terms, without a lot of adult intervention and rules. Play frees a child’s spirit. It allows children to practice what they are learning, to try out new ideas; it encourages creativity, curiosity and problem-solving. As Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.”

Now is a great time to get outside, conduct some of that research, and play to your heart’s content.