Play and movement are powerful tools that can facillitate the break down of complex topics, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). When people are engaged in play, they are more open to new ideas and experiences. This can lead to proactive ideas and implementations, and the willingness to try new things in the workplace.
There is a growing body of research that supports the use of play and movement for learning. For example, a study by the University of California, Berkeley found that children who engaged in daily physical activity for 30 minutes, experienced better focus and learning. Another study by the University of Maryland discovered that adults who participated in a dance class for 12 weeks showed improvements in their cognitive function.
A game could prompt players to work together to build a community that is inclusive of all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, social class or gender. Activities that require movement might have participants working together and mirror each other’s movements. This builds empathy among participants and helps them be aware of how diverse people might identify and express themselves.
When we hear a story, we’re more able to connect with the characters and feel their emotions. Empathy is key because it allows people to understand and appreciate the experiences of others.
Inclusive Playbook Programme: Where Play Meets Progress
LeadWomen’s groundbreaking Inclusive Playbook programme is a great example of how play and movement can be applied to learn about diversity and inclusion. Through a safe and supportive environment, the programme is designed to help participants develop a more inclusive mindset. For women in leadership positions, the programme will be instrumental in facilitating valuable learning opportunities that encompass diverse cultures, perspectives, and experiences.
Delivered over a series of workshops, each activity includes a varied set of play and movement, encouraging participants to develop relevant skills in communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution.
- Best, J. R. (2010). Effects of physical activity on children’s executive function: Contributions of experimental research on aerobic exercise. Developmental Review, 30(4), 331–351. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2010.08.001
- Kasper, J. D., Wolff, J. L., ; Skehan, M. (2018). Care arrangements of older adults: What they prefer, what they have, and implications for quality of life. The Gerontologist. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gny127