We talk a lot about legacy and how it impacts on our ‘everyday’. Of course we all have a legacy. It’s the one that gets our foot to tap when a bit of music comes on, or to jump and head an imaginary ball when the winger puts the cross in. It’s the one that results in lots of rolled up sweetie wrappers round the bin at Christmas. It’s the one that makes it so hard to resist the hopscotch on the pavement.
It is the legacy of PLAY.
When you read this I’m sure that you are already thinking of some more. It feels good to think of them. They remind us of fun. They remind us of long summer days when we went out at the crack of dawn and didn’t come home until tea-time. That’s our play legacy! It’s so powerful that when we think of it – it brings a smile to our face, a little chuckle and a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
There’s been a lot of talk about the legacy of Covid-19. It would be a worthwhile exercise for us all to stop and think for a moment, before we return to normal (whatever that looks like) and list the things that we want to see as part of our new normal. The things that we now see as important, that we didn’t realise until lockdown forced us to stop for a while and re-calibrate.
I’m thinking of birds singing; I’m thinking of exercise; I’m thinking of human acts of kindness; I’m thinking of a sense of community; I’m thinking of the real heroes – in the health service, the retail sector, the politicians, transport, bin men and women and much more; I’m thinking about the value of social contact and family; and I’m thinking about the value of PLAY!
Those of us in the business of play know how important play is for children. A recent Message for Parents from the NI branch of the International Play Association outlined why play is so important to children – especially during the pandemic: