Stuart Brown Play is more than just fun
A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.
Steven Johnson The playful wonderland behind great inventions
Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, not always. Steven Johnson shows us how some of the most transformative ideas and technologies, like the computer, didn't emerge out of necessity at all but instead from the strange delight of play. Share this captivating, illustrated exploration of the history of invention. Turns out, you'll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.
Isabel Behncke Evolution's gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans
With never-before-seen video, primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo (a TED Fellow) shows how bonobo ape society learns from constantly playing — solo, with friends, even as a prelude to sex. Indeed, play appears to be the bonobos' key to problem-solving and avoiding conflict. If it works for our close cousins, why not for us?
Tim Brown Tales of creativity and play
At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play — with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't).
Charlie Todd The shared experience of absurdity
Charlie Todd causes bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes: Seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, "ghostbusters" running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride. His group, Improv Everywhere, uses these scenes to bring people together.
Takaharu Tezuka The best kindergarten you’ve ever seen
At this school in Tokyo, five-year-olds cause traffic jams and windows are for Santa to climb into. Meet: the world's cutest kindergarten, designed by architect Takaharu Tezuka. In this charming talk, he walks us through a design process that really lets kids be kids.
Steve Keil A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond
Steve Keil fights the "serious meme" that has infected his home of Bulgaria — and calls for a return to play to revitalize the economy, education and society. A sparkling talk with a universal message for people everywhere who are reinventing their workplaces, schools, lives.
Gever Tulley 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do
At TED U, Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, spells out 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do — and why a little danger is good for both kids and grownups.
Shimpei Takahashi Play this word game to come up with original ideas
Shimpei Takahashi always dreamed of designing toys. But when he started work as a toy developer, he found that the pressure to produce squashed his creativity. In this short, funny talk, Takahashi describes how he got his ideas flowing again, and shares a simple word game anyone can play to generate new ideas. (In Japanese with English subtitles.)