The game is not just about children: adults also play

Maybe to start this post, we should try to define what is an adult, something complicated today. Personally, I am not very clear about the consideration of a teenager as an adult at 18, but I will take it as a reference.

I think I can say, without fear of being wrong, that many adults like to play. We can put many examples: video games, board games or sports. Activities such as paintball, the rooms escape, sudoku, crosswords, puzzles, models, unmanned vehicles, drones, role-playing games, building games, cards, dominoes, chess or many apps our phones, serve us to entertain us and, why not say it, to distract us and waste time too.

We all have different personalities and we like to play in different ways, in an active way, or more passively, alone or accompanied, sharing or competing. But the game is there. Of course, there may be adults who do not like to play, although I would not bet on it, I would not want to generalize, since there may also be young people who do not enjoy playing. In any case, just as happened with the word adult, the term play should be defined. Many would not classify some of the examples above as games.

It may be true that we all have a child inside. Although for fear of ridicule, perhaps we rarely dare to take it out and let it go:

In Secondary Education, in Vocational Training, in the University, in Adult Education, in Language Schools, among others, you can also play and like them. I think there is a fundamental point that should be taken into consideration, both for adults and for the youngest ones: the need to propose games that allow different roles so that students with different personalities and abilities can feel comfortable and contribute actively.

It could be asked why it is leaving playing year after year, from Infantile to Secondary, University or Vocational Training. Maybe it schedules or lack of time, but it is a reality, at least I think that as we move in different educational stages, the game is disappearing, and not just the game but the manipulative learning in general, the learning by doing lets step by learning by studying. And it does not seem the best option. Although the change is not simple and does not depend, to a large extent, on us, we can probably plant small brush strokes of light in the academic environment of our students.

When you have fun and relax, you learn more and better. The game, the novelty, the innovation, the surprise and the unexpected, awaken the motivation and makes them remain attentive, awakening them and separating them from their thoughts:

 

We can go a step further, they can be those who create games related to their subject, devising rules or rewards. You can also take advantage of new technologies, with free digital tools such as kahoot, socrative, quilt or others, to propose, or that they propose, fun quizzes or tests. All this will help us to promote active methodologies and manipulative activities in which the students are the protagonists.

Something that we must always take into consideration, as with any other proposal we make, is the importance of observation: see who is having fun, who is bored, who does not like the idea, see who is not participating. And we should be able to find solutions on the fly and have always prepared a plan b, a plan c, and almost all the alphabet if necessary.

Playing can be very serious learning.

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