Brian Sutton-Smith

Play begins as a major feature of mammalian evolution and remains as a major method of becoming reconciled with our present universe.

For decades, there has been this assumption that children played and adults didn't. That's rubbish.

People who play are happier people. And people who don't have access to play tend to be depressed.

Adults spend $500 billion on games and leisure activity each year, and some adults lament that kids get $15 billion for toys.

Forget about teaching the children about numbers and colors and the like, and just play with them.

We study play because life is crap. Life is crap, and it's full of pain and suffering, and the only thing that makes it worth living - the only thing that makes it possible to get up in the morning and go on living - is play.

The connections in the brain fade away unless used. We know that early stimulation of children leads to higher cognitive scores.

A weakness of many of the self-oriented play theories is that they often sound too much like vain consumerism instead of being about the more passionate and willful character of human play, which involves a willingness, even if a fantasy, to believe in the play venture itself.

I feel playful aggression is important for children because they have to deal with all kinds of anger and aggression in their lives.

If you are going to take away war toys, then what are you to replace them with? Children need to feel courageous, brave, and assertive. They need to feel strong; that is the purpose of their play.

One thinks of toys and play as an area of great novelty and potentiality where all sorts of responses can be developed. The fact that adults are allowing their imaginations to have activity through toy kinds of objects is a further reflection of the belief in the imagination of the adult mind.

Children who play regularly with their peers are most likely to achieve the highest levels of adjustment as adults.

It's a mistake to try to use play to deliberately foster developmental progress.

I keep trying to understand the phenomenon of why adults are so literal when children are so imaginative. Toys are a caricature of reality.

Puritanical attempts to cure society by taking toys away from children are hypocritical and futile.

Research has shown that children who play often both solitarily and socially become more creative and imaginative than those whose exposure to play and toys is limited.

Despite the efforts of some parents, children still tend to act out the traditional sex roles of our culture. The child's peer group may have more of an influence over this than the parents.

What many teachers observe as violent behavior is often really just playful aggression.

To play is to act out and be willful, exultant and committed, as if one is assured of one's prospects.

The thing about a violent kid is that he can't play imaginatively.

A toy is seen both as a bauble and as an intellectual machine.

The main point for me is that toys are incredibly more important than we realized.

Playful stimulation probably hits all kinds of synaptic possibilities. It is all make-believe and all over the map. The potentiality of the synapses and the potentiality of playfulness are a beautiful marriage.

Play is always a fantasy, but once you get into the frame, it is quite real, and everything you do is real. You put acres and acres of real movement and real action and real belief in it.

The kid who can play imaginatively doesn't tend to be violent. It's the same with adults.

Once upon a time, soft toys were for babies. Now they're taken for granted as a feature of adult life.