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4 simple ways to play every day

 

Last updated 5/27/2021 at 10:14am

How often do you get to experience the joy of play? No matter the age you are right now, creating time for play every day has lasting benefits. Play relieves stress, improves our connection to others, enhances social skills, and boosts self-confidence.

I'm Stéphanie McGuirt, homeschool mom, business owner, and local author. My first book is Play: Simple & Creative Activities to Inspire and Engage. The play I remember as a child and continue to do with my kids is my inspiration behind this pocket guide to fun activities you can do almost anywhere, anytime. I hope to inspire more hands-on play for children of all ages. Play has the power to brighten our day in unexpected ways, and it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.

Let's explore four simple ways you can play every day. These ideas may not be ways you think of as play. That's okay. A big part of play is wondering big enough to try something different. As we'll see, play comes in many forms-curiosity, movement, or laughter, for example.

So whether you're 1 or 100, there are small, doable ways to experience the joy of play throughout the day. And, don't worry, you don't need a fully stocked craft cabinet or scheduled prep work for these.

Here are four simple ways you can play every day:

Go outside. Rain or shine, taking a walk outside is more than just an activity with heart benefits. It's a moment to wonder about the variety of colorful flowers, bugs, and trees around us-to pause and explore our surroundings. In our city, we're fortunate to have Fountain Creek Nature Center nearby. It's the perfect spot to discover things like animal tracks in the snow, a variety of birds in their nests, a family of geese waddling by, or a healthy herd of deer grazing in the grass. With the trees now budding and the flowers blooming, Fountain Creek is an especially bustling and beautiful place this time of year.

Dance. Moving our bodies improves physical strength, is an instant mood booster, and helps us to better connect to ourselves and each other. Dancing to your favorite music is one of the funnest ways to knock out boredom or sneak in a little exercise. To make this one extra fun, create your own inspiring dance playlist on Spotify.

Try new things. What's something you've never done before? Maybe it's eating a specific food, playing a new game, or visiting a place you've been wanting to but just haven't yet. Try something new, something different. You never know what type of adventure awaits when you embrace your curiosity and set off to discover what the world offers.

Join in. Are you interested in participating in an activity or a group, but something feels like it's holding you back? Maybe you're feeling shy, out of your comfort zone, or you don't believe you have the time for it. Do it anyway. Join in. Set a goal to find out what awaits you-let go of expectations and allow yourself to get involved in something you might just look forward to regularly.

Simple, right? I think the best things are just that... simple. And I'm sure you could agree.

Today, challenge yourself to cross, at least one thing off the list of four simple ways to play. Feel inspired, rejuvenated and joyful, which is how we should always feel. Have fun!

Contact the author:

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