9 Ways To Play

Most people probably don’t ‘play’ enough. Sometimes it isn’t because they don’t have enough time but because they just don’t know how! I’ve provided nine tips to help you enjoy yourself.

When Did You Last Play?


Most of us, when asked when we last played, would be likely to snort in derision (I’ve always wanted to snort at something in derision, but never have), and say, “I’m an adult. I have responsibilities.”

I have to admit, I often fall into this category. I don’t always play enough. Playing is very important. You’ve probably heard experts talking about emotional issues and saying we should “play more.” We go in stores and see toys aimed at grown-ups, like those little magnetic balls on strings that click back and forth. How do they do that, anyway?

We should play, probably more than any of us do, because our minds are not made only for serious thought, for work, for “being productive.” Our minds have a tremendous capacity to enjoy life, and in fact, I think one reason humans have what we know of as a spirit or a soul is for enjoying life. Maybe not the only reason, of course, but certainly one reason.

When I say “play,” I don’t mean you have to get down on the floor and play marbles every day, although playing marbles can be a lot of fun, if you know how and the other people you’re playing with know how.

What I really mean by playing is just getting away from your normal routine of work and responsibility, and doing something that is just supposed to be fun. I love reading Harry Potter, and I do that as a form of play because I enjoy it so much. I also enjoy movies with my kids. Sometimes just getting out of the office and into a theater for a couple of hours can be enough play to last a while.

Do you play enough? Probably not. But how do you know? You know if you hear the word play and think, “I wish I had time.” Even people who play a lot think that sometimes, but if that’s what you usually think, then you may need more play.

If your kids ask you if they can have your toys when you die, and you feel like you have to specify natural causes to keep them from knocking you off for your stuff, you are probably not in danger of playing too little.

Between those extremes, most people probably don’t play enough, because most people don’t know how. I’m going to suggest ten ways you can play. I hope these will help you think of other ways that you might enjoy getting away from the routine and just enjoying yourself for a while.

  1. Visit web sites that are funny or pleasing, like humor sites or museum sites, if you enjoy art.
  2. Take your dog for a walk. Dogs know all about enjoying a walk.
  3. Go to a silly movie. Not “The English Patient,” but “Weekend at Bernie’s.”
  4. Find a three-year-old and play chase.
  5. Make carpet angels.
  6. Read a joke book.
  7. Buy a toy at the toy store. Play-Doh works.
  8. Play charades or Pictionary.
  9. Finish every sentence with “so it is written and so it shall be done.”

There are lots of ways to play. How you play is far less important than that you play.

Thanks to A Journey of Dreams for including this post in the List of Lists, and to Tip Diva for featuring this post in the Carnival of Tips, and to Colloquium for inclusion in the Carnival of Family Life.

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