Let’s Go PLAY!

Am I the only “grown up” who really misses “playing?”

Yeah! Let's Go!

When I was about 13, my cousin (who is two years younger than I) suddenly decided that “playing” was no longer cool.  Since she was my primary playmate, I was pretty ticked off.  Why the heck would anyone want to be too cool to play?!

So I resigned myself to playing alone, or when I was at home, I’d play with kids who were a few years younger than I.  They weren’t too cool to play, so we got along great.

This somewhat ostracized me from my own age group, but I didn’t care.  I had been and still am somewhat of an oddball.

And I’m still pissed that nobody likes to play.

However, since you are actually taking the time to read my blog, I’m going to go ahead and make a broad assumption:  You’re an oddball too.

Dig! We might find kids in China to play with!

So, fellow oddball, what is your favorite thing to do for play?

Now there are two caveats to this question:  I don’t want to hear about video games or playing with children.  Both are okay, but both are also rather forced.

I’m talking about playing “tag” or “hide-and-go-seek” or going down the slide; a hilarious board game where you laughed so hard you almost peed yourself; a snowball fight; an adult trip to the local roller-coaster park.

Seriously, what the heck ever happened to “pretend?”  How fun was that?  Come on…just for a moment, pretend something and let your imagination drag you away.  Pretend you just magically *poof!* turned into a flying dragon.  Or a horse.  Or a cat.  What would you do first?

Can you even remember the last time you actually played?

I’m coming to the realization that it’s been way too long since I actually, purposefully took the time out to play.  And I don’t like it.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to make today’s post short and sweet.  Because I’m going to go and play.

If you lived in my neighborhood, I’d knock on your door and ask if you wanted to come

Cats weren't always just for petting...

out.  But since you don’t, you’ll have to comment and tell me what you decided to do.

Get up!  Let’s go PLAY!

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About DrPretzel

Student of philosophy and medicine, mother of 2 Creatures of Mass Destruction (a.k.a. "boys"), Soldier, sister, daughter, friend, cat person, social inept, INTJ, blah, blah, blah...are you even reading this?
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20 Responses to Let’s Go PLAY!

  1. Guy says:

    As having raised two children the one regret I have is not teaching my kids to play more…of course there were times we had an old fashion water fight…or play hide and seek before bed…but what I am talking about it scheduling play time…

    I think as a kid i was pretty serious kiddo and became a serious adult …work and no play…now a bit older and a a tad bit wiser i wish i stressed the importance of play…I now think it is a healthy part of life…it helps to reduce stress and release endorphins in the brain…it is hard to be mad or angry when you laugh and enjoy yourself from play..

    i am still not good at it but recognize the need for it…I think it is about playtime now (:

    • DrPretzel says:

      This is why I kick my kids outside….scheduled playtime can be fun, but the BEST play is completely unplanned.

      A few weeks ago, T (my younger child) and I were playing. I was chasing him around the house, tickling him when I caught him. I suddenly turned around and ran away screaming “YOU CAN’T GET ME!!!”

      I’d never seen him laugh so hard, chasing me around the house. I thought he was going to pee his pants!

      Just changing things up a little can bring a smile to the faces of everyone involved. 🙂

  2. Charisse says:

    p.s. The fact that I ‘play’ so much? Probably due to the ADD! 😉 Can’t sit still, might as well have fun! lol

  3. Brian Gillum says:

    Haven’t played a role playing game in a while but I enjoy those. Can be a lot of fun for folks who really get inti that character.

    Slug Bug (aka touch buggy) NOT VWs perversion Punch Dub, is great. Basic rules…see one first punch someone in the upper arm.

    It depends. I like to be frivolous and fun but it is not always easy to find an adult who can/will play along with some off-the-wall thought up on the spot silliness.

  4. AJ says:

    A couple of weeks ago the kiddos were watching a video that had some funky music for the closing credits. I started dancing like a nut in front of everyone. My kids laughed and thought I was crazy.

    Most of my time is spent with the kids so whenever I play, it’s either in front of them to make them laugh or getting goofy when we go to the park. They think it’s weird that I do cartwheels.

    • drpretzel says:

      I love cracking my kids up. They think it’s hilarious that I tell “butt” and “fart” jokes. They’re boys, so quite easily amused.

  5. Charisse says:

    I love board games. Our extended family bought a bunch of boardgames for a gift to all of us and we are starting game nights. 🙂 I cannot wait!

    I know you said not to include playing with our kids, as it’s often “forced”, BUT, I would insist that I should because I’m often the one forcing the kids to play with me. I get caught by my husband and other family crawling around barking or growling at the kids, them running and screaming away…. it’s a great way to take out any frustrations you have with the kids, to play monster, or wrestle or spar. (Levi just started Tae Kwon Do and I’m so excited! We can have REAL sparring matches soon!)

    I love to swing… but even the monster wooden re-enforced play ground my parents built in our front yard, starts to jump and wiggle just when it is just getting fun. I can only REALLY swing on the metal industrial swings in public parks. 😦 And I don’t get to do that often enough. And I love to play with a ball, tossing it in the air, bouncing it or rolling it, they will not stay still in my hands. I have made myself a weighted bar that I ‘exercise’ with, but really I’m pretending to fight with it or try baton/flag-girl type moves. (shhhh! lol) And I REALLY want a Hula Hoop! But the kiddos get a hold of it and they don’t last long.. So I want one of the ‘exercise’ weighted ones, because they are solid plastic or metal and wont break as easy.

    I LOVE to play dress up, still…
    and people may not think this is ‘playing,’ but I do… Ryan and I love to go to the manufactured home places and play in the houses… My version of playing house. “And here is Wyatt’s room… and the computer goes up here… and over there is YOUR closet… ” 🙂 I’d like to go to open houses, but the lots are always there when we have some extra time, no need to research what’s open.

    Sometimes, when I cook, I’m really playing. Especially when I’m making something new. I usually make a huge mess, and it’s not always edible. -It’s not a mud pie (I used to do those all the time) but my no bake peanut butter fudge is just as ‘pretty’, and messy! I love to use my hands to make it. -and actually the recipe I use was listed as peanut butter play-dough! lol 🙂 And it tastes SO GOOD! It’s candy! 🙂

    I wasn’t a terribly active kid anyway, I mostly liked to use my imagination. And play video games (I still DO, not forced at all!) and read. I especially like to play Barbies. Now I dress up Raevynn, instead. (Have you seen my pictures? She’s a little doll!) Pretty soon she’s going to start making me let HER pick out her clothes… that wont be as much fun. 😦 lol But we can go shopping together then, that will be fun!

    When I’m driving, sometimes I will start wiggling the van a bit (like racecars warming up their tires), the little ones love it, Levi freaks out. lol or get’s grumpy… he’s in the back, so he gets shook around the most. Or in stores I use the kids as an excuse to race the cart around the store… vvvvrrrrrrRRRROOOOOoooommmmm! :p

    But I really think the CCPC should not only have a discussion meeting, but a regular ‘play time’ as well. Recess or boardgames… Maybe (since it’s winter and YUCKY outside) we should request a time to use the gym regularly? Wouldn’t that be cool? Or a room with a good sized table(s) and bring boardgames, like sorry and trouble! 🙂

    Just a thought! Have fun playing! I’m going to go play jacks for a little while. (baby boy is down for a nap!)

    • drpretzel says:

      I’m certainly not saying that we shouldn’t play with our kids, but that we shouldn’t only play because of our kids.

      We should not be required to have an excuse to play.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think playing with the kids is very important in both their development and in parenting, but I also think that adults should definitely remember that our kids emulate us when we aren’t watching as much as when we are. All work and no play…yadda yadda.

      I love all of your ideas for play and think that you might play more than I do! Wanna get together and play sometime? I bet we could have some pretty good philosophical conversation while we’re dressing up Barbies and playing Michigan Rummy (SOOOOO fun for all ages!).

      • Charisse says:

        That sounds awesome! Play date! 🙂
        …”Um… Ryan? I’m going to go play barbies and color with my friend now… will you watch the kids?”….

      • drpretzel says:

        Excellent! Sounds like a good way to keep the stress down this next semester!

  6. Majeh85 says:

    When I play, by what appears to be your definition, I prefer to do something active, tag or hide and seek. But most of the time now I’m either missing the people to play with, the time in which to play, or the drive; the last one usually ties strongly into the first because without people I don’t really want to play, just read, draw, or get lost in a daydream. I don’t particularly like playing pretend, my dreams are more than vivid enough to cause issues sometimes so I don’t need to be acting them out as well.
    But I guess now-a-days you could consider the few time I go do get out and hang with people and watch them get drunk and make fools, sometimes with me nudging them to do so, as play. Or maybe thought problems, those can be fun at times, especially if you either get enough people or people that think differently enough from yourself to get really cool results.
    But then again, maybe you’re trying to narrow down what “play” is too much. From the way it seemed you put it my thought problems or getting friends to make asses of themselves ideas wouldn’t fit your idea of play since imagination or running around isn’t involved, though I personally don’t see why they have to be in order to play

    • drpretzel says:

      It could be considered play, since some need that extra help to bring out the kid in them.

      I, personally think that play itself can help pull the kid out of someone, if they just try.

      • Majeh85 says:

        Ok, but why does play have to be equated to an inner child? As we grow up why can’t our definition of play change as well? Not to exclude old forms of play but to include new ones.

      • drpretzel says:

        I think that our definition of play can change, but really have a hard time accepting being buried in WoW or Everquest to be true to the spirit of “play.”

        Play requires active use of the imagination. Video games and computer games take all of the imagination out of it. You are only a participant in the imagination of someone else.

  7. The DA says:

    I have allowed myself to grow too old and crotchety to even recall HOW to play anymore. Maybe someday I will learn again. 🙂

    • drpretzel says:

      Play is proven to help you live longer. And be happier. 🙂

      • The DA says:

        It’s going to take MUCH more than play to make me happier these days but it might be a good start. 🙂

      • drpretzel says:

        Well, you’ve got to start somewhere!!!

        Of course, you’re so busy that I doubt you’ll have much time to play without P.

        Does he have Chutes and Ladders yet? Or Operation? That’s fun for a laugh (and ironic too! 😉 )

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