Play like a child again

As adults, we hardly ever play. We regard it as childish, a waste of time or even something to be ashamed of. Grown-ups should be serious, right? Even when we do play, it is competitive; on the golf course or over a chess board.

However, non-competitive playing has many benefits for adults:

  • It helps you to release stress.
  • It improves your relationship with others, especially in a love relationship where it can assist a couple in experiencing emotional intimacy.
  • It can help develop your social skills because you have to learn to get along with others in a gaming environment (for example, playing in a touch rugby team with strangers).
  • It stimulates your creativity.


Remember that playing is not only beneficial to yourself, but also to your loved ones.

Here are some tips to start playing again without others looking down their noses at you:

  • Start thinking differently about playing. Give yourself permission to play daily, and be creative. Instead of just playing with your child, ask your child’s opinion about things that happened during the day, or act out a scene from a book you are reading to your spouse.
  • Think about how you played when you were young. Many of the games that you enjoyed as a child can be a lot of fun if played with your own children. If you constructed your own ark from waste material for your toy animals in your youth, take on a similar project with your children. (Don’t be too critical about the end result!)
  • Surround yourself with playful people. Do fun stuff with your friends, have a theme party instead of a cheese and wine function for your next birthday. Don’t be grumpy if someone tickles you or pulls a prank on you; rather tickle back!

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