Playfulness is a gift.

And author/fun theorist Bernard De Koven
invites you to receive it!

Welcome to A Playful Path:
The Book, the Spirit, the Experience.

Get the Book Now! (Free Download!)

Latest Articles

The politics of public skipping

Apparently, for us grown-ups, skipping in public is just playful enough to be a political statement. We can run (though it’s far more acceptable if we wear a running suit). We can bike (ditto with the biking outfit). But skipping? Even though it’s at least as aerobically exercisey as running and biking? Probably best if […]

make a playground
Make a playground by playing in it

We moved to “the farm” in 1971. Three years later, it was the Games Preserve and we were open for business. There was one little statement in one of our first flyers (a flyer that seems to me to be, after all these years, the most direct, clearest expression of the vision we were there to share) […]

A Deck of Fun

“Over the years,” writes game designer Chelsea Howe in her blog Mind-Speak, “I’ve found several different ways people attempt to map, categorize, and present the amorphous possibility space of play, fun, and games. I reference them constantly, always with a grain of salt, as a sort of mantra for considering playstyles that are not my […]

hungry hungry hippos
Human Hungry, Hungry Hippos

I remember it well. All too well. I was working as a Senior Game Designer at Ideal Toy Company. We were in an old factory in Jamaica, New York. To get to our corner of the toy world, we’d take the elevator to this giant, almost empty factory floor. Walk and walk until we got […]

from my TEDxAsheville talk -
Instant Patty Cake

Yes, my playful friends, you, and anyone else who wants to, can create your own, completely original, unplanned and spontaneous moment of paddycake-like mayhem, as illustrated, a bit later, in this very article. The fact that such joyous madness is not only possible, but charged with meaning and delight, only became apparent to me and […]

Pass the Clap

You might have gleaned intimations of Pass the Clap at the conclusion of my TEDxAsheville talk. That, however, was only intimation. Pass the Clap (the game of infectious laughter) is played as follows: Everyone stands. If they’re in a theater they stand in rows. If in a more open playspace, in a big circle. They […]

The entrance to your playful path is wonder.

Get inspired listening to selections from Bernie’s books and articles, and then more inspired playing games from Bernie’s huge repertoire of deeply playful games.
The Experience

Readings from A Playful Path:


Kudos, kindness and kittens!!
(just kidding, no kittens, but more reviews here →)


"This volume should really be titled A Guide to Being Human.
I recommend you read only a page or two at a time. Let it sink in. Apply it. Revel in it."

Read the full review


"Now, finally, we come to Bernard DeKoven’s new book, A Playful Path.
It is, for me at least, the best self-help book I’ve ever read."

Read the full review

Playfulness opens you. It lightens your heart

“A playful path is the shortest road to happiness.”

‐ the Oaqui

"I know that if we only let ourselves out to play we would rediscover ourselves and reunite with the world."




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