Play: a lesson from children

It is a happy talent

to know how to play.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dance Play Peace

When was the last time you played? Not a board game. Or team sport. Or anything weighted down by rules & expectations. But really let loose?! Like laugh-until-you-cry, can’t-feel-pain, no-sense-of-time, free-as-a-bird all-out play? I’d bet for most adults, it’s hard to remember. Many of us juggle long work hours, busy personal lives & full family schedules. Between the business & stress there isn’t much time left for play. Not to mention we are taught to fit society expectations & comply with social norms. Once you factor all this in, do we even remember how to play like we did as kids?

Play time at the Creek

Probably not. But hope is not lost! We can reclaim this fun-loving, free side of ourselves. By doing so we will feed our soul & nurture are true selves! Or at least find some much needed stress release! To better understand what the function of play might be, check out this post on Mark’s Daily Apple. If you are struggling, observe the children in your life. Better yet PLAY with them and let them have the lead! They have not yet gained all the inhibitions that adulthood brings. They are the experts.

Spontaneous Play

If you are at a loss, here are a few ideas to get you started…

  1. Dancing – freestyle, all-out, & if need be – alone so no one can see! I’m currently rocking out to Sugar by Maroon 5 on repeat 🙂
  2. Cartwheels – It really takes you back to childhood. I recommend a grass field to soften any falls 🙂
  3. Hooping – Take a hoop dance class, take your hoop to the beach or just pick up an old school hula hoop at Goodwill & go to town!
  4. Water Fun – run in the sprinklers, create a DIY slip & slide with friends, go body boarding & jump waves, hit the lake for some skiing or intertubing, water gun fights
  5. Beach Soccer – grab a few friends, create seaweed goals & let the rules go
  6. Hacky Sack – Remember this awesome game of skill & laughs from school days?
  7. Parkour or Free running – checkout some awesome video inspiration in Youtube.
  8. Climb a tree – pick a branch & go for it!
  9. Wrestle – just don’t take it too far, remember how as kids the laughing inevitably ended in somebody crying?
  10. Puddle Jump – if you are lucky enough to live where it rains – get out & splash!
  11. Scavenger Hunt, Treasure Hunt, Hide & Seek, Tag, Cops & Robbers…

Beach Play

For more ideas check out 15 Concrete Ways to Play on Mark’s Daily Apple. Play is a highly valued activity in the primal world!

How will you incorporate more play into your life?