Women laughing
Photo: Thinkstock/Thinkstock
The Power of Play

At some point, we are all told to stop playing, to get serious and stop "fooling around." Whether given to us by a parent, teacher or boss, we all pretty much take this command to heart.

So, we get serious, and in doing so, we stop playing, exploring, creating, looking and using our curiosity, and we slowly lose our sense of wonder and joy.

A UCLA study documented something that I think is amazing and a little scary: A child at age 5 is engaged in creative tasks 98 times a day, laughs 113 times a day and asks 65 questions a day.

But, by age 44 the numbers fade to two creative tasks a day, instead of 98; 11 laughs, instead of 113; and six questions, instead of 65.

Do these numbers surprise you? Scare you? They do me. And it's sad that they ring true for so many of us.

We have to turn these numbers around. To bring creativity, laughter and curiosity back into each day. We need more fun, more imagination, more joy.

Are we running so fast, are we so busy, so crazed that we do not have time to laugh, to dream, to get curious? I hope not! Decide right this moment to bring playtime back into your life.

Through play, we learn about ourselves and the world around us. It helps us understand our environment and gives us a chance to learn and to practice new skills. Here are just a few examples of what we learn and practice every time we play.
  • The ability to problem-solve
  • The ability to think logically
  • Ways to communicate/interact with others
  • Socially acceptable behaviors
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • The ability to adapt to situations
This week, play.

Get Week 8's first playful activities.


Next Story