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The Power of ‘Play’ - It’s a Life Saver

The Power of ‘Play’ - It’s a Life Saver

If You Care About Kids, Everyone Should Watch This 16 Minute Presentation

SILVER SPRING, MD – April 7, 2015 – There are not many times you see a video and say, “You have to look at this.”  Well, this is one of them.  PHIT America searches for stories or research which emphasize the importance of physical activity, but when PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh saw this one, he said, “We have to get every parent, P.E. teacher, and everyone working with children to look at this video. It is educational and will transform your outlook on life.”  And, he’s correct.Ted logo

The key to quality of life in the U.S. can be found in two four-letter words:  MORE PLAY.  If you listen to the recent TED Talk presentation by Peter Gray, you will realize we need more ‘play’ in our lives, beginning right now.  For children, it’s a necessary part of their growth and education.  Without it, “it’s a worse world for kids,” says Gray.

Gray is not advocating that people start doing more push-ups, wind sprints, jumping jacks, or toe touches, though that is a step in the right direction.  Instead, he shared a number of points that left his audience applauding his remarks.  More ‘play’ is what our children need, whether it’s in parks, in the backyard, or in gymnasiums which should be opened for general use.


The roots of Gray’s presentation can be traced to normal behavior by mammals:

  • Mammals with the largest brains play the most
  • ‘Play’ is Mother Nature’s way of giving you the skills necessary to develop in life
  • Without ‘play,’ you can be socially and emotionally crippled
  • With ‘play,’ you learn how to solve problems and experience joy.

Gray notes that children need to be in ‘play’ situations which not controlled or directed by adults. 

Sadly, Gray reports that for the last 50 to 60 years, ‘play’ has been taken away by many elements of society.  Years ago, school years were five weeks shorter and many school days had two hours of play built into the school day.  Gray says that our children need less school and more play.

“Develop neighborhood networks, establish places to play, build adventure playgrounds, and open gyms for free play,” says Gray. Gray sadly admits that one of the negative side effects of less ‘play’ is a growing number of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and suicide.

“Peter Gray’s message is in sync with the cause which is the focal point of the work of PHIT America,” says PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh.  “Getting children active and outside playing would help this country in so many different ways, both now in and in the future.  It would put a dent in the ‘Inactivity Pandemic,’ it would reduce health care costs, it would improve academic achievement in our schools, and it reduce absenteeism in the work place and at schools.  Children in the USA must be at ‘play’ every day.”