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Make Time to Play

"What do most Nobel Laureates, innovative entrepreneurs, artists and performers, well-adjusted children, happy couples and families, and the most successfully adapted mammals have in common? They play enthusiastically throughout their lives."

--Stuart Brown, Institute of Play

Make Time to PlayPlaytime is not just for kids. As adults living in a fast paced world, it can be easy to forget about the importance and necessity of play time. Play time is often described as that time when we feel the most vibrant and alive. Have you ever had that ah-ha moment or a really great idea when you were on vacation, relaxing or simply playing a game with your children? Taking the time to play for both kids and adults is as essential to our mental health as eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep.

Taking the time to play also helps relieve stress, bolster our energy, awaken our senses and helps us feel more connected to the world around us. For children, playtime is essential to their learning and development. It helps to stimulate a child’s imagination and adapts problem solving skills. When a child’s curiosity is aroused, it naturally leads them to discover, take risks, make errors, and learn social etiquette skills.

Play time is one of the most essential tools for building and maintaining healthy relationships. In addition to bringing fun, laughter and life into your world, it can also help heal resentments, disagreements and hurts. Through regular play we learn to try new things, work together and build trust with our loved ones.

The benefits of playing abound, but what if you have no idea on where to start? Don’t stress and take small steps. Start with turning off the television and asking your child to play a game with you. It is that easy. Your child will be delighted and your brain will appreciate the change of pace. Instead of just buying Lego kits, sit with your kids and build something yourself. If weather permits, throw a Frisbee or play a game of catch. The act of throwing a ball back and forth is fun, free and therapeutic.

So kids and adults alike, remember to make the time to play today!

For more great information on the benefits of playing be sure to visit Helpguide.org.