Make Your Place — with Play

June 10, 2013 0 Comments

quote about importance of play, create your place through play, Donna R. Barnes quote

Today I dropped my son off at a new summer day camp at the science museum. After checking him in I watched as he tentatively walking over to where kids were gathering, waiting for camp to “officially” begin.

There were some kids exploring marble runs. Others were playing with what looks like a giant Light Brite — colored pegs that light up when put into an illuminated panel.

Cooper was nervous — I could feel he’s anxiety in the air all around him. I asked if he wanted me to walk over with him, and he nodded his head yes, eyes wide with anticipation. I asked if he wanted to check out the marble runs or the peg lights, and he chose the peg lights.

There were a few other boys there, just about his age. Cooper stood with his back to me, my cue that it was time for me to say a quick goodbye and slip away, which I did.

I stood several yards away and watched as Cooper grabbed a couple pegs and watched what the other boys were doing, both imitating and doing his own thing. The tension was moving out of his body as he moved into play with the boys.

Play is the common language of children. I’ve watched my kids become instant friends in a sand pit or on swings, and marvel how after playing for an hour they never learn their new friends’ names.

Details like name and age don’t matter when you are playing.

There are times that we adults use play to connect with each other too. I think of the instant connection I feel with other runners in a race or the communal swell of a crowd at a music concert. The cheers and high fives at a sporting event or spontaneous chatter at the neighborhood pub.

We connect with ease when we are at play. Much faster than with a formal handshake or a quick elevator pitch describing your work.

Where can you bring play into your encounters this week? Perhaps you can seek out a playful setting and open yourself to connecting with people, not necessarily in a long lasting or deeply meaningful way, but through play — glorious, joy-filled play.

Want more inspiration?

Sign up to receive weekly inspiration and guidance.

Filed in: Blog, Inspiration

Leave a Reply