Project Goals

  • To compile a broad and accessible data base of information about the play of children that will be useful to people in many fields
  • To preserve and embed much of the folk history of play that is rapidly being lost with the passage of time
  • To demonstrate the basic values of children’s play to parents, teachers, agency workers, government bureaucrats, politicians, researchers and others involved in programs and policies for children and youth
  • To chronicle the play of youth over many generations and in different cultures
  • To provide voice to adults, and particularly seniors, about their precious childhood experiences
  • To enhance the current play worlds of children by rekindling the free and unfettered play of children in earlier generations
  • To illustrate the play history of children by means of photographic documentation of play activities and settings
  • To help the public and professionals recognize the profound values of play in the lives of children and youth
  • To counteract the technological intrusion that is diminishing the child’s right to play in our modern society
  • To continue to develop the world’s largest depository of stories and documentary evidence about childhood play
  • To provide a permanent archive of the vivid memories of childhood that need to be preserved
  • To develop a user-friendly portal for the inclusion and retrieval of stories about childhood play
  • To enhance personal family history collections through the provision of childhood play memories
  • To foster inter-generational dialogue in the family context through the sharing and collection of stories
  • To showcase the richness of play across many cultures
  • To enhance multicultural understanding and appreciation through sharing of play histories
  • To promote diversity in play activities and play environments by profiling the multifaceted nature of play
  • To preserve the many indigenous forms of play that are in danger of being lost in the post-modern world
  • To facilitate the return of adults to their childhood and youth through remembering their play world
  • To give example and life to the huge host of statements about the merits of play that have been authored by philosophers and theorists over the centuries

PURPOSE OF THE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES PROJECT: The main purpose of the Childhood Memories Project is to preserve and share the cultural heritage of play experienced by children throughout the world. The main products of the Project will be a permanent heritage website and a book about childhood play in Canada and other countries. Other related products will be community workshops, lectures, play festivals, television shows and public displays, and short courses to do with children's play. A major benefit will be the archival records provided for institutional special collections.

For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.
William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939