free play advice from 75 years ago


Our adult world owes children many apologies, but one it owes more than any other. The special apology for having intruded on their play.” ~ Katherine Glover and Evelyn Dewer

In a book first published in 1939, Lillian de Lissa asks us to view free play in exactly the way modern neuroscientists and educators are pushing for. We have discovered nothing new and it is incredibly reaffirming to read this message repeatedly across the ages.

de Lissa writes:

“Play, the most characteristic feature of childhood is the child’s natural way of developing himself in body and mind and preparing himself for the serious business of life. It is an activity that arises spontaneously and is similar in type all the world over.” (p.190)

“Not only is play the surest index of a child’s character, it is also an indication of the normality of his development and of his…

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