Play is a fundamental human function. Play for children, adolescents and adults is an important part of learning, positive self-image, emotional and social wellbeing. The Power of Play extends into every aspect of our lives, even school. So, why don’t we play more?
We don’t play more because we don’t value play over hard work in our fast-paced modern culture. Play is essential for young children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. It is also essential to adolescents and adult’s wellbeing. Play is the inner joyfulness of a person who is experiencing an activity for the simple reason of doing the activity. No actual result is needed, wanted, or recognized. The joy during the activity itself is the purpose. Swinging in a hammock in the back yard, enjoying a walk or playing a game of soccer in an open field are all ways we can enjoy moments of play. What is your favorite and most joyful activity?
PLAY as Priority – We know play is important and even essential, now it’s time for us to prioritize play! If you don’t know the answer to our last question, what is your favorite and most joyful activity, it is time for you to figure it out. Block off your next few Saturday mornings and think about what might bring you a smile – then do it. That is right, block off your calendar! Scheduling time for play is how you will begin to make it a priority in your life.
PLAY during the Holiday Season – The holiday season can be a challenging time to bring more fun to your days. Our family practices the art of saying “no” more often during November and December. We put our family’s favorite activities on the calendar during October and then we hold those beloved times sacred to our family. It helps us say “no” easily because our calendar is just already full, and we feel less stressed about trying to please others. Scheduling our most favorite family fun times is a way we de-stress, stay connected and protect our health during one of the most demanding times of year.
Here are our families list of fun activities: RV travel in November for a weekend away in nature, making gifts for family, decorating the house and tree, caroling in the neighborhood, driving around looking at lights, seeing snow somewhere and baking. These are all scheduled and listed on our family refrigerator calendar! Play is our priority during this time, and we want to get to New Year’s Eve with smiles on our faces and laughter in our ears.
The Study of PLAY – Play has been studied for centuries. Aristotle placed great importance on leisure and recent scientific studies support play as an essential part of life. I could quote tons of studies, famous philosophers, and such, but that doesn’t sound like any fun at all!
The moral: PLAY is not just important; it is life giving. PLAY can help you and your family be healthier and happier. Learn the power of play, what play means to you, and do more of it!
Play, play the day away,
I want to play the day away.
I want to jump and laugh and play.
To be free and love the day. Play.