|On my weekend play-getaway trip earlier this month I came across this delightful book (PLAY: Ideas, Exercises and Little Ways to Add More Fun to Everyday, by M. H. Clark) at a local college bookstore. I had been looking and looking for something that spoke to the important role that play holds for the average adult — someone like me — who may need a reminder or two both about the “why” play can be a healthy (even essential!) activity for us, and also a little guidance about the “how” to fit it into our lives. While not my typical literary go-to (I much prefer either non-fiction explorations of topics of interest for me, or psychological thrillers that are either real or made-up, not picky), I’d been hard pressed to find a book about play that wasn’t geared towards educators or parents wanting to dig their teeth into something that may support them in facilitating or understanding play in children so I took a look-see into this journal-style activity book about play. And what a sweet treat it was! Also, the serendipity was not lost on me that I discovered this little gem while engaging in a weekend filled with intentional and mindful play!|
Because the type-A gal in me loves lists and check boxes no matter the topic, one of my favorite parts of the book was a list of types of play that may interest the reader. The intention of the list was not to necessarily try each of the activities one-by-one, but rather to identify which activity will make me feel good and then allow this suggestion to help me figure out what types of play (indoor/outdoor, individual/team, physically active/quiet and sedentary) I may prefer and then coming up with additional ideas of things to try. What I discovered about myself is that I prefer solitary play, and activities that also involve learning or trying something new. I made a commitment both to try some new recipes out on my family (yes cooking can be fun!) and also to maybe take a gardening class to learn more about how to plant and take care of a window box of flowers I have been wanting for outside of my kitchen window.
Do you know the types of play that you enjoy? Take a look at the list below and check off the activities that appear fun or interesting to you, even if you notice resistance to actually doing them. What emotions arise when you imagine engaging in each of these activities? What do you make of the resistance if it is showing up? How much of your reactions are based upon beliefs or prior experiences you have with these types of play? How might beginners mind help you to discover new activities that you may enjoy? Let us know!
Play a simple outdoor game with others (cornhole, boxball/foursquare)Paint or decorate a birdhouseBlow bubbles outsideTry a new recipeSing in a local choirTry Tai Chi or yogaHand write and decorate a letter to a friendScrapbookPlay a simple indoor game with others (hide and seek, Uno)Join an adult recreational sports league
As always, with so much gratitude,
Nikki and the Sacred Treehouse faculty
Nicole Davis is a licensed psychologist practicing at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Davis starts with the core belief that each person already has everything they need to live a life of joy and fulfillment, and that therapy is just a process of uncovering their inherent wholeness. Dr. Davis gently invites her clients to uncover their strengths in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Dr. Davis completed MBSR facilitator training through the Center for Mindfulness at UCSD. Dr. Davis is also a 200-hour trained yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance.