In Singapore, all things ‘play’ seem to make for very serious, and intense, discussions in various parenting and education circles. Even our local media is fueling the interest in the importance and relevance of play to our children’s lives.
In the midst of the discussions, factors such as ‘our Asian culture’, ‘ our society’s values’, our ‘kiasu-ness’ (a negative colloquial term for ‘competitiveness’, and the desire to outdo others) often pop up.
So here I am being the ever nosey-parker started wondering about whether the place of Play, and Free Play, is something that is only endangered in Asia. With our very urban setting, even outdoor play seems somewhat of a luxury these days.
What about in the non-Asian, Caucasian societies, or what we in Singapore like to call the ‘Ang Mohs’? How do our Caucasian parent peers play? Perhaps we could learn something from them.
Today, I have a Canadian blogger, Alex Smith, who runs two absolutely awesome blogs dedicated to playing and playgrounds – Halifax Plays and Playgrounding, to share with us what play is like up North, as well as his thoughts and knowledge about the importance of outdoor play.
Alex has such a wealth of knowledge, and is so passionate, that he had a lot to share.
This is why I’ve broken up this Playful dialogue into 5 segments:
• Meet the Playgrounding Expert
• Play & Playgrounds: Issues,Threats, Importance
• The World of Playgrounds
• Parents at the Playground: Our Role & Responsibility
• Short List of Play Advocacy & Research Groups
Parents and educators alike, I’m sure, will be intrigued by the entire playgrounding philosophy and hopefully, be inspired to explore more playgrounds and do more outdoor play.
What are we waiting for? Let’s play!