“You need to have a baby,” RN&R news editor Dennis Myers said to me a few weeks ago. “I need something to play with.” I think I just laughed awkwardly in response, because I don’t plan on having rugrats of my own any time soon, but he has a point. Kids are fun, even when they’re hard work, and adults like playing with them. And who doesn’t like to play? But somehow, we’ve made playtime secondary to the dreaded R word—responsibility—for adults and children.

There’s no reason the two can’t coexist. Having a bit of structure isn’t a bad thing, and some of us need it to actually get important things done, but humans of all ages function best when given time and space to explore and play and soak in the world. In this issue, we investigate some new approaches to education that allow students to be in charge of their own exploration and learning process. Think your kid is playing too much by immersing themselves in video games? There’s actually a lot of cool cognitive activity happening while they quest through dungeons.

As Tim Hauserman points out, despite their small statures, kids are resilient—adults are usually the ones setting up boundaries for them when we should be breaking them down and letting them experience the world independently. And that’s a lesson I’m learning firsthand as I worry about my younger brother getting his driver’s license.

Want to get in on the play time? We also found some tips on how to travel safely and efficiently with a baby strapped to your back.

Here’s to working hard, and playing harder.


Ashley Hennefer

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