Six years ago today I posted these pictures and thoughts about play being akin to a universal language. I have learned so much about play since I wrote this, but the words seem truer to me now than they did then. Play is fundamental. It is a basic right of children, because it is a universal truth, a common language, a requirement for a healthy and happy childhood. Back when I wrote this I didn't realize how ever present play is the lives of all children. When it is not it is a profound problem. 

The children in these pictures were drawing pictures for our Playable 10 International Design Competition. Now they are likely grown with families of their own. I hope their children play and I hope they live in peace.

Could Play Be the World's Common Language?

March 6, 2010

These children from the Acholi Quarter in Uganda spent their afternoon yesterday drawing pictures for the Playable Kids International Design Competition. They are lovely pictures and we are so happy to have them be a part of Playable Kids.

Children all around the world have been excited by the request to draw what play feels like to them and it has me wondering, could play be just the thing to unite us all? Children playing together are not limited by language, politics, religion, they simply play. Surely you've seen a young child walk up to another at a playground and say, "Do you want to play?" and, off they go. Play must be a language that transcends our limiting words. Maybe, if children grew up playing with the children of their parents' enemies, ancient grudges would bring forth new friendships.

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Tags: Atlanta, Uganda, competition, design, peace, play


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Ethan's grandmother gave him a gift of $25. He gave $20 to ATOP so more Atlanta kids will have great places to play. He kept $5 to get something cool for himself. We think Ethan is pretty cool!

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