Dr Evangelia Kantartzi, Lecturer at the National & Kapodistrian
University of Athens
The importance of play in a child’s development is undeniable. Through games, the child is not only entertained but also socialized, experimented on, expressed and freed from mental tensions and negative emotions.
The value of play was already appreciated in the ancient world and for this reason, there have been various representations on cave walls or on certain sculptures (art) depicting people in a state of physical activity (rowing, boxing).
Play is also considered to be a child’s right. Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed in 1989, it is recognized as a right of all children and its fundamental role in childhood is emphasized. In Greece, it was incorporated into national law by Law 2101/1992.
As to how play can be defined, there is neither a specific definition nor a single theory. This shows the complex role of play with many different aspects.
Highlights from the educational programmes
of the School Life and Education Museum
The publication of the book is an attempt to revive the old games. Toys that have been forgotten in time, that children once played with in the neighbourhoods. It utilizes, at the same time, material from the collections of the School Life and Education Museum. Texts and images are taken from old readers and convey information about the games children used to play at home, at school, and in the neighbourhood. It is addressed not only to children but also to those who feel like children!