About the Project


For more than a quarter century we have been collecting stories from people around the world about their play experiences as children. Children’s play is freely chosen, intrinsically motivating, child-initiated, and joyful activity with many benefits for learning and development. Play is multi-faceted, and wonderfully diverse. How has the play of children changed over time and in different cultures? What can we learn from play experiences of previous generations?

Play stories reflect who we are, where we came from, things we treasure most, what we want to preserve and pass on, and the kind of culture we wish to have.

The goal of the Childhood Play Memories Project is to chronicle children’s play over generations and around the globe, to better understand the importance of play in life. Results of the study will be available in print and on the internet.

We appreciate your participation in our project. Most people find thinking about and recording childhood play memories to be a pleasant experience; we trust you will as well. If you would like to participate but prefer to talk with us about your experiences, please contact us for an interview (contact information at the bottom of this page).

Completing the Questionnaire

We want to capture all sorts of play experiences, from earliest recollections to early teens: playing alone or with friends, inside or outdoors, children’s games or informal ball games, using real or imaginary objects, or any activities that were part of your play world.

The stories about play that people recall from their early years are vital to our study. We welcome detailed descriptions of your childhood play experiences. To put play stories in context, we also ask for some demographic information (e.g., gender, age, country, etc.).

Confidentiality: Your responses to all questions are voluntary and any personal information you provide will be treated confidentially. Play experiences will be reported by first name only (if given) or anonymously. If you provide contact information so we can follow up with you, we will use it for that purpose only and will not share it with others.

If you cannot complete the questionnaire in one sitting, you may stop at the end of a page and click "next." Your answers will automatically be saved. When you return to the questionnaire at the same computer, you can resume filling it out from the next page.

Thank you for sharing your childhood play memories with us.

Dr. Garfield Pennington
Chair, Childhood Play Memories Project
Associate Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia
Email: childhoodplaymemories@gmail.com
Blog: playfullearningcenter.net
Facebook: facebook.com/childhoodplaymemories