The team at educational building toy company Click-A-Brick applauds the introduction of adult play sessions at libraries, saying unstructured playtime for adults can be just as important as unstructured playtime for children.
In a column for the San Jose Mercury News, reporter Angela Hill outlined her own play experience at a ‘Legos for Grown-Ups’ play session held at lunchtime every third Thursday of the month at the Mountain View Public Library.
Basically, it is just a chance for adults to spend their lunch hour playing with building blocks in a completely unstructured way, similar to how children would play. Hill said these grown-up play sessions attract up to 20 adults and the library introduced them as a way to strengthen their adult programs.
“People are seeing that one of the components in productivity is play,” Hill quotes librarian Paul Sims as saying. “Places like Microsoft and LinkedIn incorporate play into their culture. It's a chance to be creative."
Click-A-Brick Co-Founders Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say they are pleased to see libraries offering play sessions for adults, as it appears open-ended play is just as helpful for adults as it is for children.
“There is a lot of evidence out there that free playing time -- meaning completely unstructured playtime where kids can just do what they please -- is beneficial for children’s development,” Smith said. “But, now we’re starting to see that it may just be as beneficial for adults, too. A lot of people like to doodle and just do activities that they don’t really have to concentrate on while they brainstorm ideas. It helps. What some libraries are offering now is similar to that but without the brainstorming part. It’s the fact that it’s unstructured that is important. A lot of adults do already build models and collect figurines and interact with toys and sometimes a company will encourage play among employees, but it’s always under the guise of doing something specific. Having completely unstructured playtime for adults like this San Jose library is a great way to foster creativity in adults in general. And, of course, we love that the library is doing it with building blocks, proving that they are the ultimate time-tested toy.”
The Click-A-Brick team also says they hope it becomes a larger trend to offer adults their own unstructured playtime, as they believe it will encourage them to play with their children in the same way. While they are fans of things like family game night or of sitting down with children to play a specific game, the entrepreneurs say, they would also like to see parents play with their children in an unstructured, open-ended way. They believe this type of play, particularly if it is done with something like an educational building toy, will bring parents and children closer together as well as helping with children’s development.