I’ve already written about what play is and why it’s so important for a child’s development. In this post I wanted to collect together some of the greatest and most inspirational quotes about play by some of the world’s leading scientists, educators, writers and thinkers. I hope that they will inspire you to play more and encourage our children to play more as well!
50 Inspirational Quotes About Play
“Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children.” ~ Kenneth R. Ginsburg
“It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” ~ Carl Jung
“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.” ~ Abraham Maslow
“Play is training for the unexpected.” ~ Marc Bekoff
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The true object of all human life is play.” ~ G. K. Chesterton
“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” ~ Kay Redfield Jamison
“Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.” ~ Plato
“Play and playful forms of activity potentially lead towards increasingly complex forms of knowledge, skills and understanding.” ~ Elizabeth Wood
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” ~ O. Fred Donaldson
“The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.” ~ Erik H. Erikson
“Play is the brain’s favourite way of learning” ~ Diane Ackerman
“Play is the work of the child.” ~ Maria Montessori
“Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.” ~ Roger Von Oech
“Children don’t need more things. The best toys a child can have is a parent who gets down on the floor and plays with them.” ~ Anonymous
“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.” ~ Roald Dahl
“People tend to forget that play is serious.” ~ David Hockney
“Deep meaning lies often in childish play.” ~ Johann Friedrich von Schiller
“Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less.” ~ Peter Gray
“If animals play, this is because play is useful in the struggle for survival; because play practices and so perfects the skills needed in adult life.” ~ Susanna Miller
“This is the real secret of life—to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” ~ Alan W. Watts
“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” ~ Heraclitus
“Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good” ~ Lucia Capocchione.
“Children at play are not playing about. Their games should be seen as their most serious minded activity.” ~ Michel de Montaigne
“Play is the royal road to childhood happiness and adult brilliance.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
“In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior. In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself.” ~ Lev Vygotsky
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” ~ Dale Carnegie
“In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.” ~ Ovid
“All play is associated with intense thought activity and rapid intellectual growth.” ~ N. V. Scarfe
“The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.” ~ Carl Jung
“When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.” ~ Fred Rogers
“The very existence of youth is due in part to the necessity for play; the animal does not play because he is young, he has a period of youth because he must play.” ~ Karl Groos
“Whoever wants to understand much must play much.” ~ Gottfried Benn
“Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.” ~ Dr Stuart Brown, MD
“Children have always learned and created places for themselves through play.” ~ Donna R. Barnes
“Play is the exultation of the possible.” ~ Martin Buber
“A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived in him.” ~ Pablo Neruda
“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” ~ George Dorsey
“Trying to define play is like trying to define love. You can’t do it. It’s far too big for that.” ~ Gordon Sturrock
“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” ~ Friedrich Froebel
“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.” ~ Charles Schaefer
“Play builds the kind of free-and-easy, try-it-out, do-it-yourself character that our future needs.” ~ James L. Hymes Jr.
“Nothing lights up a child’s brain like play.” ~ Dr Stuart Brown, M.D.
“Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, and learn self-advocacy skills.” ~ Winnie Wathu
“Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.” ~ Johan Huizinga
“Play is not a break from learning. It is endless, delightful, deep, engaging, practical learning. It’s the doorway into the child’s heart!” ~ Vince Gowmon
I hope these amazing quotes about play have highlighted the importance of play and inspired you to play more and to encourage your children to do the same.
If you enjoyed please share and/or subscribe and follow – It would be very much appreciated!
Have you got any favourite quotes about play?
If you know of any quotes that could be added to list please leave a comment below and I can add them ( I guess I’ll have to change the title then though…oh well!).
Let’s nurture those neurons!