A few minutes ago, I watched a short video that one of my Facebook friends had posted. It showed 2 toddlers, probably twins, delighting themselves by trying to put a rubber band around the knob of a kitchen cabinet and then pulling on it to see it snap. The absolute GLEE in their laughter made me laugh until I cried! Each of them had a rubber band and their own knob, and both were just as engaged in each other’s successful snapping as their own.
That’s what bePLAYFULL! is all about. Finding delight in everyday things.
When our children were young we encouraged imaginative play. Staples in our home included the dress up box filled with old prom dresses, ties, shoes, hats and all manner of goofy things; a big box of large cardboard bricks (remember those?); a Fischer-Price kitchen (complete with food) and lots of other stuff. I would often arrive home from work to find my four kiddos acting out any number of fanciful stories. There were princesses (I have 3 daughters), super heroes and knights in shining armor (the son). And if I wandered on stage at just the right moment, I became the monster seeking to devour everyone. Those simple memories still bring a smile to my face.
Children don’t need to be taught how to play. It happens naturally. Sticks become swords, buckets of dirty water become stone soup, appliance boxes become rocket ships. Everything is an adventure and the possibilities are endless. bePLAYFULL! encourages us to return to that innocence—to suspend our “adult pragmatism” and look at the world through a child’s eyes. Again.
“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Without laughter and play our creative potential is stunted. Life is serious business, no question. But when that seriousness begins to define us, we lose touch with the child that lives in all of us, regardless of age. We need wonder. We need surprise. We need to laugh until our sides hurt.
I’ve got a couple rubber bands. Let’s head to the kitchen!
For more on bePLAYFULL! check out my book Burnout Sucks!