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Children's 20 Percentage Time

Taken on the idea of Google's, Facebook's, 3M of given employees time to experiment with their own ideas. We should let children at HOME and also at SCHOOL to embrace a similar concept, where children are let free, without boundaries and rules.

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When WE are all most creative, When WE are young children or babies, when WE still live in a world of fantasy, playfulness, innocence, ignorance, unknown, unafraid and still don't fully understand the word 'failure' and 'no':
  • "Different types of play give children opportunities to make choices and use their own ideas. Because play is voluntary and self-initiated, it promotes freedom and self-expression" (White, 2008, p.7).

  • "Children's play is characterized by spontaneity, freedom, creativity, discovery, and joy" (Miller, 1962, p.7).

  • "Divergent play experiences result in improved problem solving ( Sutton-Smith, 1968; Dansky& Silverman, 1973; Dansky, 1980 as referenced in Frost, 1992, p.18).

So creating such an environment where for 20 percentage of the children time in their SCHOOLS with teachers and friends as well as at HOME with parents, family and friends can feel a similar world of limitless ignorance and fantasy...


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I like the 20% idea because it offers adults-- who control most of children's time-- an easy metric of how to loosen up the reins on the often-talked about "overscheduled child." It seems that the core of this is really messaging for parents and caregivers-- what have you learned from your interviews and observations about how you might get this message to those people who control kids' time?

One other quick note of caution: if this really becomes something about scheduling 20% of kids' time for play and exploration, doesn't that make play no longer "voluntary and self-initiated"?

Photo of Miquel Vidal

Sorry, I haven't carried out any study on the subject, this was just an idea, concept been used across some of the most influence and innovative organisations, hence we have today 'post-its, ad-words, gmail', etc...You can use it with the kids, adults, teenagers,'s up to you how you do it...what ever works best.

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