The ancient Greek words for education/culture, play, and children are Paideia, paidia, and paid; all having the same root. Chris Merrcogliano realized the unity of these three words after 30 years in school teaching; he connected the role of play in the education.  He talked about Fredrich Froebel, experimental school series on learning based in play and natural discovery and he argued how the United States eliminated the fun and game play at the age of six, while after that,  the real work has to start. But are the kids ready to leave their fun childhood and be forced into the working machine of the current system at the age of six? Plato suggested, “Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”  The educational system, at the elementary school, should be concentrated on building the children’s character, while driving them to express their talents instead of forcing them to learn boring materials that they don’t’ care at all, at that specific time of their life. Kids want to play, and education through games will intrigue them and bring up their talents.
Experts in child development Cosby S. Rogers and Janet K. Sawyers in their book Play in the Lives of Children argue that because of the increasingly complex, competitive and fast-paced society, children’s spontaneous play is being replaced with structured activities, both at home and in school. Adults want children to compete successfully in their complex, hurry-up world. These structured, adult-directed activities prevent children from enjoying their childhood and later their personal and professional lives. Exploration and play are so closely linked; play is the essence of life and the most important foundation for children’s healthy development.  “Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind” (Plato).  They strongly support: “Children who experience success are more likely not only to want to repeat the experience but to want to take on new or more difficult challenges as well. Play gives children the opportunity for success” (p.6), “A playful disposition toward life can carry over from childhood to adulthood” (p.8). “If the focus is on winning, and if rules are rigid and external the players are not players but workers” (p.25), “Play reduces the pressure or tension that otherwise is associated with having to achieve or needing to learn” (p.59), “Play enables children to learn about learning through curiosity, invention, persistence, and a host of other factors” (p.60), “Play can facilitate healthy development; may even provide the best context in which children grow and learn” (p.70).