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How to Play (And Still Be A Grown-Up)

It's play time! By rediscovering the abandon of play, you can reduce stress, improve your mental health and take a well-needed time out.

We see children do it all the time: jump ropes, create fashion doll musicals, make building block cities, play dress-up and stick-up. They laugh, giggle show off and show up. Sometimes they even tell each other to shut up, and then are friends again, within seconds.

As card-carrying members of the adult population, we often fail to recognize that within play lies deeply rooted secrets to our own humanity.

Play Supplies:

  • Crayons & coloring book
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Bubbles
  • Kazoo
  • Whoopee cushion
  • Rubber chicken

IDENTIFY HOW YOU PLAY BEST

Some people play best alone—a crate full of fashion dolls and they are good to go. Others like one or two friends to build a clay city or play hide and seek through the work cubicles, while others prefer group dynamics such as musical chairs or a rousing game of Twister.

CHOOSE YOUR TOYS WISELY

Sidewalk chalk can beautify your driveway or write a slick love note to a neighbor. Crayons can be used to color outside of the lines in a coloring book or make a homemade greeting card that can be eaten in case of emergency. The toys you choose need to be appropriate to the situation and the setting: bubbles may have a calming effect at the workplace, but a screaming rubber chicken might put you in the unemployment line.

FIND APPROPRIATE PLAYMATES

If you are whoopee cushion kind of person, you may not have the best of times with a fashion doll diva. It is important to seek out playmates with similar interests. If you are artistic consider starting a lunchtime drawing group with pilfered office supplies.

REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN

Play must be fun, I repeat, it must be fun, if you are not having fun it is not play, it is something else entirely and would be included in a very different kind of article such as how to remove a fur ball from an alligator!

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a play journal using crayons, magic markers and stickers
  • Make and keep play-dates
  • Smile a lot
  • Laugh
  • Do not bring a screaming rubber chicken when visiting the elderly.
  • Smile a lot more
  • Keep laughing

Article Evaluations (from eHow):

7/1/2009 Ah yes, I play all the time. 34 years old and learning to skateboard, that's my most recent endeavor. I like your ideas, Ada-Reva. 5

5/27/2009 Fun tips and great written format! 5

5/15/2009 Very fun, thanks! 5

5/12/2009 lol..fun..nice work on How to Laugh at Yourself so the World Laughs with You! 5

5/12/2009 My husband and I love to play. Thanks for the great article! 5


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