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Art Based Research | Research Article | Good Days

Abstract: This study is all about understanding how people develop their unique sense of play and why it's important. They looked at lots of different research to figure this out, some was like real-life experiments, and some was just ideas. They found that there are four main things that influence our play identity: the way we play, our personality, the culture and environment we're in, and how money and technology affect us.

Think of play like a superpower for personal growth. It's not just about having fun; it helps us get better at things, make friends, figure out who we are, and deal with life's challenges. And the really cool thing is that this special play identity can be passed down to future generations, shaped by our experiences in different environments and how we use technology. So, it's not just about fun and games; it's about making our lives better and helping us become the best versions of ourselves. 

Summary: Several studies highlighted the significance of play and its impact on personal development. Panksepp's research in 2007 revealed that play has a positive effect on the brain, specifically on the amygdala, which is responsible for organization and future planning. Gross, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, emphasized that play serves two main purposes: talent development and relaxation. It's a natural behavior in both humans and animals, helping individuals enhance their skills and relieve life's stresses. Eberle, in 2014, described play as aimless, voluntary, extraordinary, fun, and guided by its unique set of rules. He identified six fundamental elements of play: anticipation, surprise, pleasure, understanding, strength, and poise. Piaget, in 1962, categorized play into sensorimotor play, symbolic play, and games with rules, shedding light on the different ways play evolves as we grow. Additionally, Eck and Sandberg stressed the importance of play memories in our lives, with Sandberg underscoring the role of toys and emotions in these memories. It's worth noting that the interactions with parents, playmates, and other adults during play are often more cherished than the toys themselves, as some adults may not engage adequately in play, and even pets can become close play companions, as noted by Henniger in 1994. These studies collectively emphasize the deep and lasting impact of play on our cognitive and emotional development.

At Good Days, we believe it’s never too late to play. Play without a goal. Forget being the best. Or even being good at all. Create something new without judgment. 

Read More Research On Play:
  • Is Chess Just a Game, or Is It a Mirror That Reflects the Child's Inner World?
  • In search of the neurobiological substrates for social playfulness in mammalian brains
  • 5MinuteConsult Journal Club
  • Personal play identity and the fundamental elements in its development process

Henniger, M. L. (1994). Adult perceptions of favorite childhood play experiences. Early Child Development and Care, 99, 23–30. Sandberg, A. (2001). Play memories from childhood to adulthood. Early Child Development and Care, 167(1), 13–25.
Eck, J. (2017). At the end of the road - an essay on childhood play memories. International Journal of Play, 6(2), 131–134.
Piaget, J. (1962). Play, dreams, and imitation in childhood (G. Gattegno & F. M. Hodgson, Trans.). Norton.
Eberle, S. G. (2014). The elements of play: Toward a philosophy and a definition of play. American Journal of Play, 6(2), 214–223.
Gross, K. (1901). The play of man (E. L. Baldwin, trans.). Appleton.
Gross, K. (1898). The play of animals.(E. L. Baldwin, trans.). Appleton.
Panksepp, J. (2007). Can play diminish ADHD and facilitate the construction of the social brain? Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 16, 57–66.

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