(Annie Spratt/Unsplash)

Children Need Unbounded Outdoor Play

Cognoscenti contributor John Less argues his reasons for advocating why children need to play and explore outdoors. For children, the difference between observing creatures in a zoo or aquarium and catching a tadpole or a turtle in a pond is geometric. Feeling a live and wild animal wriggle in one’s palm is a different experience from […]

The Flip Flop Factor

Why Day Care Kids Don’t Play Outside Article originally published by the New York Times Outdoor play at day care centers is often stifled because a child arrives wearing flip-flops or without a coat or because teachers don’t feel like going outside. Those were some of the surprising findings from a new study of children’s […]

Charter For Children’s Play

Children play best: When adults are watchful but not intrusive, when safe ground lends courage to their discoveries and adventures. When their trust in life is whole, when they welcome the unknown and are fearless. When the world is shared with them. When there are places and spaces they can make their own. When their […]

The Vital Role of Play

Why is it so important that we give our children opportunity for free play? How could sending my child to an enrichment activity possibly harm their development? Joan Almon explores the rational behind the “play principle”… “creative play is a central activity in the lives of healthy young children. It helps children weave together all […]

Why Kids Don’t Play Anymore


The brand-new subdivisions of Toronto roll on and on into the cornfields, a new one every month. I drive by them all the time. This is where young families live. But the streets and sidewalks are eerily quiet. You hardly ever see a child. No kids riding bikes. No kids playing shinny. No kids running wild in packs until their moms call them in for supper. It’s as if the kids have vanished. Read more about Why Kids Don’t Play Anymore

The Play Deficit

Children-playChildren today are cossetted and pressured in equal measure.
Without the freedom to play they will never grow up.


When I was a child in the 1950s, my friends and I had two educations. We had school (which was not the big deal it is today), and we also had what I call a hunter-gather education. We played in mixed-age neighbourhood groups almost every day after school, often until dark. We played all weekend and all summer long. We had time to explore in all sorts of ways, and also time to become bored and figure out how to overcome boredom, time to get into trouble and find our way out of it, time to daydream, time to immerse ourselves in hobbies, and time to read comics and whatever else we wanted to read rather than the books assigned to us. What I learnt in my hunter-gatherer education has been far more valuable to my adult life than what I learnt in school, and I think others in my age group would say the same if they took time to think about it. Read more about The Play Deficit

The Slow Fix

We live in a fast-forward world. We’re stressed out, maxed out and exhausted. Michael talks to Carl Honoré, author of the “The Slow Fix” about how to embrace our inner tortoise without rejecting our inner hare.

In Praise of Slowness

In this TED Talk journalist Carl Honore believes the Western world’s emphasis on speed erodes health, productivity and quality of life. But there’s a backlash brewing, as everyday people start putting the brakes on their all-too-modern lives.

In his book In Praise of Slowness, Carl Honoré dissects our speed-obsessed society and celebrates those who have gotten in touch with their “inner tortoise.”