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What is the meaning of play? What does playing, as children and as adults, do for our wellbeing?

A new exhibition at the home of Sigmund Freud looks at the many dimensions of play: as a source of fun, a means of connecting with others and a way of developing our creativity. A range of interactive activities, works of art, stories and oral histories explore the role of play in our lives as well as in the work of Freud and his daughter Anna, herself a pioneer in child psychology.

The show also includes work by other key historical and contemporary figures in psychoanalysis, and looks at how play lies at the core of mental health and can be instrumental in managing anxiety.

Children and people of all ages are encouraged to ‘Come and play!’, with the museum quoting paediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald W Winnicott: ‘It is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.’

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