Play to learn how to live. The value of play in childhood

Anna Oliverio Ferraris

Play to learn how to live. The value of play in childhood

may sun 29, 2016 - 11.30 a.m.
piazza del Duomo
 admission euro 3.00


A 30-year study has revealed that teenagers who spontaneously played a lot outdoors in their childhood are on average less anxious and depressed, more enterprising and calm than their contemporaries who have only played a little and spent a lot of time watching videos. They know how to find ways to have fun without having to resort to alcohol or drugs to enjoy themselves. The reason for this gap is inherent in the nature of childhood play, a complex activity that originates from the child itself and responds to growth needs. Active outdoor games stimulate the metabolism and the growth of the cerebral cortex. Through play, children acquire physical and social skills that generate security, learning to face up to the unexpected, manage fear and exercise self-control. This makes them feel good, which represents a kind of natural therapy that enables them not to lose faith in themselves when faced with the everyday problems life throws at them. 

Anna Oliverio Ferraris is a psychologist and psychotherapist who has held the chair of psychological development at the University of Rome La Sapienza. She has written essays, articles, scientific and educational texts on subjects such as normal and pathological development, education and schools, the family, communication and the relationship with the media. She has been a member of the quality committee for public broadcaster RAI – the Consulta Qualità della Rai – and the national bioethics committee (Comitato Nazionale per la Bioetica). She writes for La scuola dell’infanzia, Vita scolastica, Prometeo and edits the Italian psychologists’ magazine Psicologia contemporanea. Her publications include La sindrome Lolita (2008), Tuo figlio e il sesso (2015), Pronti per il mondo (2015) published by Rizzoli; A piedi nudi nel verde (with Albertina Oliverio, 2011), Conta su di me. Relazioni per crescere (2014) for Giunti; Più forti delle avversità (with Alberto Oliverio, Bollati Boringhieri, 2014); and La donna che scambiò suo marito per un gatto (Piemme, 2015).