To Play or Not to Play…. that is the question?

Recently in Vancouver, Canada, a big controversy arose because of- quote from article: The Vancouver Sun:  “ping-pong, air hockey, foosball, archery, bocce, shuffleboard, Frisbee golf, volleyball, basketball and the Frisbee game Ultimate.”

And more:

“Other suggestions included playing games like Pictionary or Scattergories, learning to play the Chinese tile game mah-jong, going for a hay ride or a trail walk, or relaxing and chatting at a campfire.”

(Sounds like a lot of fun…. oops)

These actions took place, or were encouraged to take place during the Professional Development Days for the Eric Humber School of Vancouver. It did not go over well with B.C. Teachers’ Federation. And, according to the Vancouver Sun, was deemed “regrettable” by B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert.

When I read this article, my heart sank, and then I laughed at the absurdity of the seriousness of it. If the B.C. Teacher’s Federation had read Stuart Brown’s book, “Play- How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul“, they might have been praising the choices of Eric Humber School. I sure would have.

Indeed there are many studies that prove that “playing” is a healthy necessity for our survival, and a big boost for employees, revealed in much more productivity. Hmmm…. And, as Geoff Johnson from the Vancouver Sun pointed out in his article, “Play Day for Teachers Not Out of Place in Big Business World“,  the corporate or business sector are realizing the opportunities their companies have if they allow their employees to play, and ultimately get more innovated.

Check in with some of the companies who like to play and see how they’re doing. Google, Microsoft, Vancouver local 1-800-GotJunk embrace and reap the benefits.

“Production matters now, but creativity is the source of all growth.” “Play is the mother of invention.” – Stuart Brown, from his book “Play…”

Do you have opportunity for play in your work? Would love to hear about it!

Happy Participants in Buffoonery Workshops


2 replies
  1. Mimi Martin
    Mimi Martin says:

    I have the good fortune that my job requires me to play. As a park interpreter, educating the park visitors involves fun. Costumes, puppets, plays, crafts and more. I get paid to hike and canoe, create scavenger hunts and hide geocaches. Many people appreciate what I do, but I find that because we ‘play’ in our jobs and laugh a lot duirng our work day, management doesn’t necessarily take us seriously and the interpretive program is considerred less important than maintenance and the toilet cleaners. I love my job and really don’t want to do anything else since I believe education through entertainment is the best way to learn. I’m serious!

    • Trilby Jeeves
      Trilby Jeeves says:

      Thanks Mimi… it’s pretty interesting that play doesn’t get taken seriously! The movement is on to make those toilet & maintenance people have some fun! (betcha they’d do even better work if they were enjoying their day at work, too!) Thanks again for giving us your experience.


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