Monday, June 10, 2013

A Month of Adult Play Ideas

Life is a song- sing it. Life is a game- play it. Life is a challenge- meet it. Life is a dream- realize it. Life is a sacrifice- offer it. Life is love- enjoy it.
-Sai Baba

We made one last pilgrimage in the name of being more childlike to  
the National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York a couple of weeks ago. We were there from open until close, 7 straight hours and didn’t  make a dent. Within this one- of- a- kind museum dedicated solely to play, you will find the National Toy Hall of Fame, the International Center for the History of Electronic Gaming a library and archives dedicated to play research, a Journal publication produced from the same building dedicated to the topic of play and of course the interactive museum.

I loved how there were children’s books in just about every play area and little nooks to rest and read.  My son became addicted to dominos. Hadley got stuck at the craft station making paper dolls. Together, we raced slinkys and played vintage pinball. We sunk battleships and my kids discovered an authentic eighties arcade, where we fed quarters to the Donkey Kong, Frogger, Galaga and Ms. Pac Man for hours.  Good thing, the arcade is sort of in the middle of the museum or we would have missed so much more. There was an area to make magic potions and a place to pretend we were superheroes. A train, a butterfly garden, there was a fish tank that had a unicorn fish. Who knew there was such a thing beyond our imagination? Even though Cole is 13, Hadley is 4 and I am forty-plus, playing leveled our age field. When we were engaged in a game or discovering something new, we were present in a timeless state of joy.

This blog is not so much about playing with your kids as it is about playing at any age. For the next month, the posts will be devoted to what playdates look like for an adult. My husband, who I am convinced never grew up, took the opportunity to point out, “So you will be spending the next month playing with yourself?” Thanks honey, for being my role model, err, on being more childlike, that is.

One thing I learned at the museum is that there are six psychological elements of play: anticipation, surprise, pleasure, understanding, strength and poise. Experts believe play begins as soon as you start thinking about it. Anticipating a game gets you more than thinking ahead, you begin to feel ahead. The pleasure begins before you make your first move as you imagine the challenges, risks and rewards.

Here is a list of play dates that I enjoyed though out the one year experiment that I anticipate revisiting this month. Simply writing this list and revisiting these experiences has me excited.

Renew Your Library Card
Catch a Midnight Movie at the Drive-In
See where the road leads you on an unplanned drive
Jump in Puddles
Visit a Farm
Smash Watermelons
Pose for Pictures While Hotel Bed Jumping
Let Balloons Go
Take a Train Ride
Hula Hoop
Get Dressed Up For A Stay Date
Play Hopscotch
Turn Your Sidewalk Into an Art Gallery
Play Follow the Leader
Wage a Spit Ball War
Go Fly A Kite
Get Lost in a Good Book
Make Up Your Own Song
Learn a Magic Trick
Find a Swimming Hole
Smell the Roses
Press Pause, Do Nothing
Visit A Play Therapist
Turn a To-Do List into A SARK Poster
Host a Gratitude Lunch
Pick Fruit Fresh From the Tree
Create a Vision Board
Take a Leisurely Stroll- Often
Listen to the Rain
Explore Alleys
Learn to Make Jam
Make a Pilgrimage

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I LOVE your list! I'm going to share this link with my readers. So fun! :-)


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