The Quote Garden ™
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Quotations about Inner Child & Play
Well, one can't get over the habit of being a little girl all at once.... ~Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea, 1909
There's enough fun in the world for everybody to have some. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor
The right to play is one of the divine rights of men and women, of boys and girls, and is just as essential to the peace, happiness and prosperity of the world as is the right to pray. Never be afraid or ashamed, my young friends, of honest, vigorous, healthy play. ~Silas X. Floyd (1869–1923), "The Right to Play," Floyd's Flowers: or, Duty and Beauty for Colored Children, 1905
Happy is he who still loves something that he loved in the nursery: he has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life. ~G. K. Chesterton
The great man is he who does not lose his child's-heart. ~Mencius
I guess we never get too old to do goofy stuff; we just get old enough to think we do. ~Leave It To Beaver, "Beaver's Rat," 1961, written by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher [S4, E31, Ward Cleaver]
So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us. ~Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Reverie, 1960
I know at last what I want to be when I grow up.
When I grow up I want to be a little boy.
~Joseph Heller, Something Happened, 1966
There is a child in every one of us, not always accompanied by an adult. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~Pablo Picasso, as quoted in Time, October 1976
One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from the French by Katherine Woods, 1971
Everybody's twelve years old in an apple orchard. ~Rachael Ray, Rachael Ray Show, 2007 [while making autumn stew —tg]
Anticipate the day as if it was your birthday and you are turning six again. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2012
To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"
We are all grown-up children, really. Our lives are made up of childhood and adulthood, all together. So one should go back in search of what was loved and found to be real. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)
Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A Beauty Bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air — explode softly — and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn't go cheap, either — not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination. ~Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, 1986
As long as you're green, you're growing; as soon as you're ripe, you start to rot. ~Ray Kroc
Adults are obsolete children... ~Dr. Seuss
Wow, look at the grass stains on my skin. I say, if your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. ~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes, 1992
The proper name of toys is playthings. They are quite irrational, and their only justification is that they give happiness — and I have yet to learn of anything better worth giving. But in giving happiness they give life, that is why happiness is worth having. When you play you are happy, while you are happy you are in eternity — for happiness annihilates time and space. ~Holbrook Jackson, "Peterpantheism," Romance and Reality: Essays and Studies, 1911
Some things can only be understood when you're in a tree house. With a pile of warm chocolate chip cookies. And a book. ~Dr. SunWolf, @WordWhispers, tweet, 2010, professorsunwolf.com
Well, everyone likes a snow day, even when it doesn't snow. ~Elementary, "Ill Tidings," 2016, written by Jeffrey Paul King [S5, E6, Sherlock Holmes]
We mature in knowledge and wisdom but never leave the playground of our hearts. ~Terri Guillemets
...delight in little things,
The buoyant child surviving in the man...
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Blossoming of the Solitary Date-Tree"
Long time a child, and still a child, when years
Had painted manhood on my cheek, was I;
For yet I lived like one not born to die;
A thriftless prodigal of smiles and tears—
No hope I needed, and I knew no fears.
But sleep, though sweet, is only sleep—and waking,
I waked to sleep no more; at once o'ertaking
The vanguard of my age, with all arrears
Of duty on my back. Nor child, nor man,
Nor youth, nor sage, I find my head is gray,
For I have lost the race I never ran.
A rathe December blights my lagging May:
And still I am a child, though I be old
Time is my debtor for my days untold.
~Hartley Coleridge (1796–1849)
In my soul, I am still that small child who did not care about anything else but the beautiful colors of a rainbow. ~Papiha Ghosh, August 2011 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter
O, men! grown sick with toil and care,
Leave for a while the crowded mart;
O, women! sinking with despair,
Weary of limb and faint of heart,
Forget your cares to-day, and come
As children back to childhood's house!...
When all you knew of life was good,
And all you dreamed of life was sweet;
And let fond memory lead you back,
O'er youthful love's enchanted track...
~Phoebe Cary, "Thanksgiving," 1881
O God... make me a child again, even before I die; give me back the simple faith, the clear vision of the child that holds its father's hand. ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897 [spoken by the character Heinrich Heine —tg]
It is a happy talent to know how to play. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1835
A man is getting old when he walks around a puddle instead of through it. ~R. C. Ferguson
Sane and healthy play tends to blot out the remembrance of cares and hardship; it gives our minds something else to think about. ~Silas X. Floyd (1869–1923), "The Right to Play," Floyd's Flowers: or, Duty and Beauty for Colored Children, 1905
If you want to be creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society. ~Jean Piaget
Never neglect an opportunity to play leap-frog; it is the best of all games, and, unlike the terribly serious and conscientious pastimes of modern youth, will never become professionalized. ~Herbert Beerbohm Tree, as quoted by Hesketh Pearson ("Sir Herbert Tree," Modern Men and Mummers)
Think what a better world it would be if we all — the whole world — had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. ~Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, 1986
My childhood may be over, but that doesn't mean playtime is. ~Ron Olson
We all have periods in our lives when life seems a little too real... That's when we look to our inner child to rescue us from the burdens of adult existence, if only for an hour or two... Unfortunately, the typical inner child is petrified of loud voices, Mylanta, and severe PMS, and therefore goes into hiding in times of stress. Should this happen to yours, you may need to acquire a dog, whip up some cupcakes, or initiate a pillow fight, since no inner child can resist any of these. ~Nancy Shulins, Every Day I Love You More (Just Not Today), 2001
The opposite of play is not work. It's depression. ~Brian Sutton-Smith (1924–2015), play theorist
We must be as near to flowers, grasses, and butterflies as a child is... We adults have grown up beyond them and have to stoop to them... He who would have a share in all good things must understand at times how to be small. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Paul V. Cohn
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. ~Albert Einstein
Always jump in the puddles! Always skip alongside the flowers. Never turn down a good pillow fight. ~Terri Guillemets
Somehow it feels wrong to have so much fun, but I can't figure out what's wrong with it. ~The Bishop's Wife, 1947, written by R. Nathan, R.E. Sherwood, L. Bercovici, B. Wilder, & C. Brackett [Julia —tg]
...he retained to his last hour his taste for the adventurous, the singular, and the uncommon, and never was steady enough to pursue perseveringly the drudgery of life. ~The O'Hara Family (Michael Banim), The Ghost-Hunter and His Family, 1833
If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses... ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Truth and Fiction Relating to My Life, translated by John Oxenford
Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from the French by Katherine Woods, 1971
Children ask better questions than do adults. "May I have a cookie?" "Why is the sky blue?" and "What does a cow say?" are far more likely to elicit a cheerful response than "Where's your manuscript?" "Why haven't you called?" and "Who's your lawyer?" ~Fran Lebowitz, "Children: Pro or Con?"
A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. ~Rachel Carson, "Help Your Child to Wonder"
But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. ~C. S. Lewis
I want to giggle myself to sleep each night and jump on the fluffy, comforting pillows of faith. ~Terri Guillemets
In my soul there is an immortal kid refusing to keep up with my aging body. ~Shyma, @Shymalicious, August 2011 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter
Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do. ~Jean de La Bruyère
Original post date 1998 March 18th
Last saved 2021 Jan 22 Fri 13:58 PST