Last Thursday night, we were at “Movies Under the Stars”, at Nelson Park where approximately 1300 people came out to experience Walt Disney’s blockbuster movie hit “Frozen”. As we sat back and enjoyed the story, it struck us that Walt Disney was a man whose life was dedicated to play and making play happen. He believed in the power and importance of play and understood play’s capacity to stimulate imagination, curiosity and creativity.
Research shows that play is a hands-on, minds-on learning process. It produces a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the world and all its possibilities. We can begin to give meaning to life through story making, and playing out various possible scenarios. Using our imagination supports the development to abstract thinking. Abstract thinking allows us to see patterns beyond the obvious and be able to use patterns or a variety of concrete ideas or clues to solve larger problems. Play can be wild and crazy–it can break all the rules and can crash the status quo and the hum-drum way of doing the same old thing. It builds capacity to think “outside of the box.”
As Albert Einstein quoted; “Imagination is more important than knowledge generally. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand”.
There are endless opportunities to engage in imaginary play. Build a sandcastle at Burlington beach, make mud pies in the dirt in a park, get down on your knees and scour that clover patch until you find a lucky four-leaf clover (or, pretend you did!) Or, simply lie on the grass and look up to the skies let your imagination soar as it floats away on a cloud. Try it. Take a small child with you for a play date if you need extra inspiration!
Free activities on the Play Calendar this week include:
- Tuesday, July 15 at Tansley Woods from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Saturday July 19 at Aldershot Pool on from 10:00 a.m. – noon
- Little Peter & the Elegants – Wednesday, July 16: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Jim Heaslip 12/4 Swing with Tony Sciara – Sunday, July 20: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Muppets: Most Wanted – Thursday, July 17 – Kiwanis Park – 9:00 p.m.
CONGRATULATIONS to Marnie Middlehurst for winning a $100 Burlington Parks and Recreation Gift Certificate in Week 6. Don’t forget you too can WIN by sharing how you play with us. Simply submit your “Play” entry on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #LivePlay (Hashtag)! Weekly draws for twelve consecutive weeks for your chance to win! See contest rules and regulations on www.burlington.ca/play.