In Support of Silliness: Why Schools Should Encourage Boys to Play

Tuesday September 27, 2022 By Barbershop Books

Original Illustrated Characters: Yen, Mateo, Darius, and April from Barbershop Books’ Reading So Lit program.

Young boys have a lot of energy. They make the Tasmanian Devil look sluggish on a bad day. As any teacher will tell you, this energy doesn’t go away when they step into a classroom; instead it is reclassified as “silliness” and looked at as a problem to be corrected. However, letting boys play and be silly may actually improve their reading ability.  

Putting boys on a path to lifelong learning begins with adults taking a more critical look at what constitutes a “good student” or “a good learning environment.” A 2016 study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, found that the more boys move the better they perform in school. The silent, static, and scripted learning experiences that are often praised as models may in fact be inhibiting young boys’ potential. Fits of silliness, intense physical activity, and play may be just what some boys need to realize their potential.

Here at Barbershop Books, we encourage silliness as much as possible. That’s why we recommend books like Gross Greg, which let children lean into their silly side and find enjoyment in reading. If a boy is being silly, then they are having fun.

For more information about how you can support childhood reading in your community get involved with Barbershop Books!

Stay updated with our newsletter


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.