The Joy of Play!

Hello summer!

Summer is a time for sunshine and laughter, gathering with friends and family, and making time to rest and play. It is a season many of us look forward to, thanks to longer days, warmer weather, and fresh food. BBQs, family vacations, farmer’s markets, parades, and reunions can all be ways to enjoy summer.

Every day, especially in the summer months, my daily intention is to make time to play and embrace the joy of life. When I am not teaching or writing, you will find me with my family and friends playing in many ways. My favorite ways to play include splashing around in the water (pools and lakes are great), taking family bike rides, gathering around a fire pit with neighbors and friends, dancing to live music, eating ice cream, and reading a chick-lit book.

In fact, when I made an appointment for an EXTRA session with Ivory House Photography, I chose a dress I love to dance and twirl in. I am updating my website and needed to update a few images. I chose an outfit that not only included my branding colors, but an outfit I feel good in. I wore this dress for my 40th birthday celebration a few years ago and wonderful memories fill my heart with joy every time I put it on.

“The opposite of play is not work, it is depression.” Brian Sutton-Smith

Why Play?

I have been recently introduced to Dr. Stuart Brown, a researcher of play. He describes play as time spent without purpose. Play is an ingrained part of all of us, and a necessity for overall human competency. When we play, we are doing things just because they are fun and not because they’ll help us achieve a goal.

Author and researcher, Brene Brown believes that play is at the core of creativity and innovation. Play can mean snorkeling, scrapbooking, or solving crossword puzzles; it’s anything that makes us lose track of time and self-consciousness, creating the clearing where ideas are born. Play is vital to human development and brings us closer to happiness and joy.

Ideas for Play

  • Play board games. If you feel like it, change the rules and get creative so all ages can enjoy together.
  • Bake. There’s nothing like making sweets to make everyone happy. A box of brownie mix or premade cookie dough is fine. Nobody is going to judge you.
  • Paint and draw. If you can, go outside and do it.
  • Build things. Get creative using blocks, cardboard, anything and see what comes to life.
  • Go for walks. Play I Spy as you go. A family walk or bike ride can be fun or just kick a ball around. Anything you can do to be active somewhere without a ceiling is great.
  • Play dress-up. Dig out clothes from your closet. Be fancy or silly.
  • Dance. Put on music, clear a space, and have some fun.

Enjoy the longer, warmer days of summer and play! Laugh a little louder. Smile a little bigger. Be a little sillier. See you on the dance floor!

Scroll through the pictures below and see how I like to play in the summer!