Planet Earth’s most playful

Mike Jones’s guest blog on the Transition Network’s social reporters is well worth a read…

As part of my job designing and building playgrounds I read a lot of the deep research that’s been done on play in the past 100 years. But one thing I read the other day stopped me in my tracks. Apparently we’re in the top 3 most playful creatures on Earth.

We share this blessed spot with bonobo apes and chimps. We are born with the most to learn in order to survive and thrive.

To get through the birth canal our brains are small, but primed and ready for explosive growth- you have more going for you at that moment than you ever will have again! That growth and learning is largely realised through play, hence our top ranking on the playfulness index.  Lizards, insects, fish or frogs come into the world with rather fixed instincts, they don’t need to learn much to survive, so they just get on with it and don’t spend much time playing. Human children however have a strong instinctive drive for play.

A playing child is engaged in a kind of research, she’s collecting and analysing experiences, putting things together in new and different ways, building and testing her own ideas of what life is about.”   …. click here to read whole article (takes you to TN website)


Who is Mike Jones?  When not designing and building playgrounds, Mike is involved in Transition Town Totnes’ Education and Play groups and he has helped deliver a few of our schools programmes.

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