Power of play

Rules, uniform, timetables… With the coming of autumn and a new school term the fluidity of summer is shoe-horned into submission. Plump fruit on the trees, longer shadows and dewy mornings hail the scourge of school runs and rigorous routines. But is the return of a structured day so bad? Pick up a prematurely fallen leaf and see how the minutiae of veins create a network of fibers that hold the leaf in its perfect shape. There is beauty and comfort to be found in nature’s skeletal structures; security in form. Somehow that back to school feeling is made easier by the familiarity of patterns we create across our week in order to manage the family’s varying commitments of work, school, social and extra-curricular activities. But for all the necessary glue that holds our worlds together, somewhere between the deck chair and the desk chair we, and certainly our kids, still need a regular injection of what we wallowed in through summer – the unregulated spontaneity of unstructured play.

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Dandelion walk