Why Aren’t We Playing?!

Has anyone read the book by Peter Gray Free to Learn?  It’s one of my favorites and it’s what inspired me to take the unschooling route with M after I pulled her from school about a year ago.

Peter Gray is a scientist who studies play. First in animals and then in humans. And then he dove into the history of play as well. The chapters about the role of play in the hunter/gatherer societies is fascinating and changed my entire outlook on life.

It also relates to our upcoming RV trip we’re planning. And hopefully a new lifestyle.

If you’ve never heard or read anything about how hunter/gatherer societies work, and the role of play in them, there’s a brief summary in this blog post. Basically, for hunters and gatherers work is play! They go together. And the tribe children spent all day playing, imitating the adults, and learning as they went. Play mimicked work and work mimicked play. It was all intertwined. We were meant for play. Our bodies and our souls.

Maybe it’s idealistic but I LOVE the idea of more time playing. Kids, babies, adults…everyone! We should be playing! How is life worth living if we spend it toiling our time away, miserable and tired, surrounding ourselves with stuff?

Now, yes, we do need money to live. I’m not saying hard work isn’t necessary and a good ethic to have. I’m just saying capitalistic America has slipped too far in one direction. We could take a few notes from the hunter/gatherer tribes that are still around today. Live for the moment, don’t worry about so many material things, and go outside and play!

If you’re interested in the concept of play and learning while living (and unschooling) grab Peter Gray’s book. It’s mind-opening, I promise you!


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