Play

Play

How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul


Format
Hardcover
Price
$24.95
 
Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781583333334
  • 240 Pages
  • Avery Books
  • Adult

Overview

Read Stuart Brown’s posts on the Penguin Blog.

From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our intelligence and happiness throughout our lives.
We’ve all seen the happiness in the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing with glee across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless and all-consuming. And, most important, it’s fun.

As we become adults, taking time to play feels like a guilty pleasure—a distraction from “real” work and life. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. In fact, our ability to play throughout life is the single most important factor in determining our success and happiness.

Dr. Brown has spent his career studying animal behavior and conducting more than six thousand “play histories” of humans from all walks of life—from serial murderers to Nobel Prize winners. Backed by the latest research, Play explains why play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve, and more. Play is hardwired into our brains—it is the mechanism by which we become resilient, smart, and adaptable people.

Beyond play’s role in our personal fulfillment, its benefits have profound implications for child development and the way we parent, education and social policy, business innovation, productivity, and even the future of our society. From new research suggesting the direct role of three-dimensional-object play in shaping our brains to animal studies showing the startling effects of the lack of play, Brown provides a sweeping look at the latest breakthroughs in our understanding of the importance of this behavior. A fascinating blend of cutting-edge neuroscience, biology, psychology, social science, and inspiring human stories of the transformative power of play, this book proves why play just might be the most important work we can ever do.

Table of Contents

Part One. why play?

Chapter One. the promise of play
Chapter Two. what is play, and why do we do it?
Chapter Three. we are built for play

Part Two. living the playful life

Chapter Four. parenthood is child’s play
Chapter Five. the opposite of play is not work
Chapter Six. playing together
Chapter Seven. does play have a dark side?
Chapter Eight. a world at play

Acknowledgments
Index

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