Play is a part of childhood. Play helps us to learn, think, explore our environment, and express creativity. Play takes all shapes and forms from creative outlets like drawing and crafts to make believe games. At the workshop put on by Dr. Gordon Neufeld, “Making Sense of Anxiety,” he shared concerns that play is slipping to the wayside in favour of things like video games, social media, and technology in general.
If you google the definition of play it is defined as taking part in an activity designed for leisure and enjoyment rather than for practical purposes. The second definition is to take part in a sport, like playing hockey or softball. Dr. Neufeld shared that true play is not outcome based, meaning there is no benchmark to achieve a certain score or complete a certain level. There is no expectation for performance.
There are many benefits to play not just for children, but adults too. In our fast paced world, there are many adults who don’t give themselves the time to let loose and do something positive for themselves. Play is a stress reliever, an opportunity for expression of creativity and laughter; it is a chance to fill up the tank. If you or your kids are feeling stuck when it comes to play, here are a few ideas to get you going;
-make a craft
-check out an adult (or child’s) coloring book
-have a dance party
-bring out the bubbles
-let loose at your local playground
-toss around a Frisbee
-try out new recipes in the kitchen
-build a fort
-create an obstacle course
This summer get your play on! Have fun, get the family involved and don’t worry about the outcome.