How Adults Can Benefit From Play
Adults can learn a thing or two from children and use play to bring some joy, calm and learning to our own lives. Many adults spend too long in front of screens and computers and far too little time in the outdoors. In the busyness of adult life, we often forget to slow down and be present in the moment. Or even if we do, it’s often scheduled in. We are told to be mindful, so schedule in a yoga or mediation class. We need to exercise and to pound the pavement or go to the gym. While each of these have their merits, and might work great for you, it could well be that your kids toys offer a potential solution.
We know how crucial play is for children, but it also offers benefits for people of all ages. It can help with stress relief, improve brain functioning, improve connections with others, develop and improve social skills, and improve health and fitness if it involves gross motor play or physical activity.
So how can you jump in next time you hear those words “mum (or dad), can you play with me?”
Firstly, leave your phone elsewhere to give your child your undivided attention, get down on the floor or at the table with them. Either play with them or do your own adult version alongside them.
Here are some examples:
- Colouring In – there is a reason adult colouring in books were all the rage a few Christmas’ back. Adults suddenly realised what kids had known for years – there is something calming and centring about slowing down and colouring in. Even if you don’t have an adult colouring book, just grab some pens or pencils and colour in a page from one of your child's colouring books alongside them. However, if you were keen to colour in your own space, two of our favourites are the Stained Glass Set Sunbeam Dreams and Hidden Pattern Set Animals.
- Complete a Puzzle – similar to adult colouring, a puzzle is a great activity to practice mindfulness. It is also something your kids can join in with as well. Regardless of the puzzle size or complexity, there is always a way to involve the little ones if they ask to participate - even if it is just "find all the blue pieces". Two of our favourite puzzles are the Kaliedo Beetles 500pc Puzzle and the Elephant of the Massai Mara 1000pc Puzzle. However, you can view our full range of puzzles here.
- Create a Mindful Mandala – loose part play is fabulous for children but it’s also a wonderful way for adults to unwind. Grapat mandala pieces are beautiful for both adults and children and are perfect for creating calming patterns. You can explore our full range of Grapat mandala pieces here.