Unleashing the Instinct to Play: Pathways to Joy, Competence and Creativity in Pretend Play

book image for pretend play ME guest, Peter GrayPsychologist Peter Gray had spent years studying the biological foundations of emotions in rats and other mammals. But when his 9-year-old son had an angry outburst in the principal’s office, Peter was moved to tears and soon found himself shifting his research focus to studying education from a biological perspective.

 

Peter’s conclusions about what is missing from children’s lives in terms of pretend play and exploration without adult direction are addressed in a powerful way in his book Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant and Better Students for Life. Whatever the age of your children, Peter’s conversation with Marti & Erin will lead you to careful reflection on how to support your children’s success and happiness.

 

Think about the past week. How much time has your child spent playing without adult direction? How about doing pretend play (dramatic play) with other children? What did you learn in this Mom Enough interview about the benefits of this kind of play? How can you create more opportunities for your child to exercise creativity through free play?

 

For Peter’s Psychology Today blog, click here.

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