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A psychological analysis based on the author's studies in play behavior reveals how play is essential to the development of social skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity.
Examines the role of playfulness in animal and human development, highlighting its links to creativity and, in turn, to innovation.
For centuries the phenomenon of play has perplexed scientists across the board. Studies by biologists, psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, and educators have excited keen debate and contention, producing diverse opinions that pose play as both a childish waste of time and a necessary tool in the development of a healthy fulfilled individual. But so far the lack of empirical research has meant that questions about functionality of play, its origins, and variety amongst different species remain unanswered. In this fully integrated study Sergio and Vivien Pellis address these questions synthesizing three decades of empirical research to create a truly seminal study into the whys and wherefores of play. With implications for so many disciplines, the Pellis’ original research and novel findings will not only expand our current knowledge of play behaviour, but will inspire change and progress from the laboratory to the playground. Professor Sergio Pellis and Associate Professor Vivien Pellis both work at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
In Play=Learning, top experts in child development and learning contend that in over-emphasizing academic achievement, our culture has forgotten about the importance of play for children's development.
A thought-provoking re-examination of children's play drawing together insights and experiences across fields such as education, sociology, philosophy and psychology to encourage an inter-disciplinary approach.
The Oxford Handbook of the Development of Play marks the first attempt to examine the development of children's play through a rigorous and multidisciplinary approach. Comprising chapters from the foremost scholars in psychology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology, this handbook resets the landscape of developmental science and makes a compelling case for the benefits of play. -- Book Jacket.
What do we think about when we think about play? A pastime? Games? Childish activities? The opposite of work? Think again: If we are happy and well rested, we may approach even our daily tasks in a playful way, taking the attitude of play without the activity of play. So what, then, is play? In Play Matters, Miguel Sicart argues that to play is to be in the world; playing is a form of understanding what surrounds us and a way of engaging with others. Play goes beyond games; it is a mode of being human. We play games, but we also play with toys, on playgrounds, with technologies and design. Sicart proposes a theory of play that doesn't derive from a particular object or activity but is a portable tool for being--not tied to objects but brought by people to the complex interactions that form their daily lives. It is not separated from reality; it is part of it. It is pleasurable, but not necessarily fun. Play can be dangerous, addictive, and destructive. Along the way, Sicart considers playfulness, the capacity to use play outside the context of play; toys, the materialization of play -- instruments but also play pals; playgrounds, play spaces that enable all kinds of play; beauty, the aesthetics of play through action; political play -- from Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup to the hactivist activities of Anonymous; the political, aesthetic, and moral activity of game design; and why play and computers get along so well.

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