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Bring Out the Kid in You

Home > Melbourne > Adventure | Free | Fun Things To Do | Rainy Day
by Julia Hebaiter (aka Julia Svoice) (subscribe)
Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published November 19th 2010
Being an adult has its benefits but it sure has its challenges too. In the serious adult world of responsibilities, careers, kids, finances and so on, most of us forget the joy and necessity of play, which helps balance left and right brain functions, leads to a more balanced life and has a whole heap of health benefits. Not only that, it's a whole heap of fun.

In the fast-paced, high-tech world in which most of us live, the privilege of play has been mostly relegated to kids. Adults seen cavorting around the playground or playing leapfrog are sure to be met with some pretty curious stares at the least and mistaken for mad at the worst. It's sad really. If you think back to the last time you really put your inhibitions aside and played freely, I'll bet you remember it with joy if you can remember the last time, that is!

A little warning: because many of us are so caught up in busy-ness, many might see play as a waste of time. Seeing it differently might take a little time and practise. Hence, some of the links below will direct you to a bit of reading, as well as a 30-minute video. If you're too busy with life's responsibilities to give it some time now, bookmark this and re-visit when you're able to give it some time and space.)

The US has a designated institute devoted to play. Now, that the way! The National Institute for Play recognises the importance of play for personal health as well as relationships.

Here's a bunch of other benefits and a few ideas to get the ball rolling (perhaps literally).

This 30-minute video by renowned play specialist Dr Stuart Brown is brilliant.

So, what can you do to get playing? I recommend listing at least 20 things you loved doing as a kid. If you can't remember, persist. Ask your parents or look at old photos to help you get back in touch with that forgotten child space.

Give it at least 15 minutes, and re-visit the list as ideas pop up. If your right brain's been snoozing for many years, it might take a little extra nudge to wake it up. Then commit to some regular, designated play time, for maybe half an hour, perhaps three times per week, or daily if you can. If you're stubbornly left-brained, write it into your diary as it's easy to procrastinate - and maybe start with one 20-minute session per week and build up slowly.

If you're stuck for ideas, some of the things I loved doing as a kid might help jog your memory: blowing bubbles (with a mixture made from dishwashing liquid and a bit of water); colouring in (I have a collection of colouring books and a flash set of Derwent pencils); finger painting; riding a bike; climbing trees; swinging high on swings; playing in mud; collecting tadpoles; and playing Monopoly and Chinese Checkers. Do any resonate with you?

Let your ideas run free, then pick what's manageable (and won't have you locked up) and change it round for full play advantages.

Julia Cameron's world renowned book, The Artist's Way, is also brimming with play ideas, along with a structured approach to regular play. Look it up at this link, and you'll get a list of all Australian libraries that hold a copy.

If you've got kids, working in some structured play is even easier, as you can use them as an alibi to do silly things. Read all about it here.

And, just for fun (and an easy left-right brain test), check out the dancer.

Okay, that's enough writing from me. I've got some serious colouring in to do!
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Why? A Short Play a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Comments
I always do things I used to do when I was 10 years old because I still love going to theme parks, outdoor skating and running, swimming, playing with big balls and other swimming equipment in the pool and having little picnics outside. Only the picnics I do not have with my teddy bears and dolls anymore, I use normal cups and plates and have them with my friends or fiances. It is so much fun just letting go of your worries and going back into time when you did not have uni work to do, work or other hassles in everyday grown up life.
By Lil Uni Girl - senior reviewer
Saturday, 1st of January @ 03:10 am
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