Creating Possibilities

“So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.”

-Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

When you play, anything is possible. You can be a princess or a dinosaur! You can travel through time and space! But it turns out that play opens up so many more possibilities. Play teaches kids to make and keep friends, resolve conflicts, build confidence, learn healthy risk-taking, and develop problem solving skills. When kids direct their own play, they get more exercise and are injured less than when they are involved in adult-directed play. This seemingly obvious and necessarily trivial part of childhood actually turns out to be amazingly beneficial and increasingly rare.IMG 0859

So, how can we make sure that kids are playing more? Where can we find the precious time to just let them collaborate and create with each other? I am hoping that we can include this in our smorgasboard of faith development offerings. If our goal is to help kids and youth develop skills to be kind to one another, value themselves and others, learn and search together, and build a fair and peaceful world, it seems like play is a brilliant strategy for teaching these principles. Not to mention the ways that playing together (particularly outside) helps us to learn to care for our planet earth and realize that we are all connected in an interdependent web.

I want to try offering a Play Club from 11:25-12:30 on Sundays after RE. Some weeks we will be outside, some weeks we will be in the social room. Every week, the kids (of all ages) will get to be self directed, with access to games and arts and crafts supplies.  We will need 2 adults to chaperone. Other parents can take the opportunity to have a break.

When I consider offering a play club after religious education, I get nervous that it might just not be possible. What if I can’t find adults to chaperone? What if no one comes? However, the possibilities of developing kids that have a sense of ease, creativity, and leadership make the risk seem worth it. If you are interested in helping to make play a possibility at USNF, please send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..