The Color of Play

From Neal’s Chapter “THE COLOR OF PLAY – BREAKING THROUGH WALLS WITHIN A CHILD’S WORLD” in the 2021 Routledge International Handbook of Play, Therapeutic Play and Play Therapy.


“Tear Down that Wall!” Eleven-year-old Katie is smashing through the wall she’s created with soft furnishings in my large New York City office. She had built this painstakingly over the past ten minutes, and now throws her thin body again and again against the wall, until an opening emerges that she squeezes through. She grins at me in triumph….”

Chapter intro: “The importance of integrating awareness of the family and larger eco-system housing the child is demonstrated by offering readers a window on conversations with parents who are encouraged to consider how doing their own therapeutic work can contribute positively to their children’s development…” Buy the Hardcover or ebook to read more….

Here’s what the book reviewers say:

"Bringing perspectives from around the world to consider play across time and cultures and in a broad range of disciplines, artistic forms, settings and creative spaces, this handbook offers an indispensable point of entry and a timely journey through this multifaceted field." – Dr. Maggie O’Neill, NUI Galway, Ireland

"The importance of play for human development is paramount. Neurosciences showed that play is ingrained in our brain, generating the basic emotion of joy, and, at least since Froebel, we know that a large amount of what children learn is learnt through play. Notwithstanding that, we can perceive everywhere what Roger Caillois called the ‘debasement of play,’ the lacking of spontaneity, creativity and freedom. How can these virtues of play be recovered? This precious book offers a whole range of reflections on the matter in a multicultural perspective, and suggests many powerful ways to engage with play and restore its therapeutic potentiality." – Salvo Pitruzzella, Centro ArtiTerapie, Lecco, Italy.

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