The Power of Play for Adults

We know that play is essential to children’s development. But did you know that play is a powerful tool for adults, too? In fact, research shows that healthy playtime leads to healthy adulthood. That’s why making time to play together as a family has many benefits beyond just simply spending quality time together.  

Benefits of play for kids and families 

  • Builds trust and resilience 
  • Strengthens relationships and positive bonds 
  • Encourages creativity and imagination 
  • It’s an important tool for brain development  
  • Helps kids learn to manage stress and recover from trauma  
  • Pretend play can improve academic achievement  
  • Can help reduce obesity 

Adults can also see benefits from intentional play, including reduced stress and an increased sense of overall well-being. While playing with children is a direct way to experience the benefits of play, there are lots of other ways adults can incorporate play into their daily lives. As long as it’s an enjoyable activity that engages both the body and mind, then the benefits can be felt. 

Ways that adults can play  

  • Join a recreational sports team 
  • Focus on hobby, such as collecting stamps or coins 
  • Read a book for fun  
  • Spend time outdoors hiking, bird watching, biking or doing another activity  
  • Gather a group of friends to play board games 

Not making time for play as an adult can also have a negative impact. According to Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institution for Play, play deprivation in adults can make work less enjoyable and make it more difficult for adults to find joy in everyday moments. Through the power of playing games with friends or coworkers, adults can utilize play to create strong bonds and improve their communication with participants. Adults who practice play regularly are better able to navigate stressful situations and find joy during their workdays. When adults play it can also help maintain their memory and thinking skills. There are great benefits to play, but play has been decreasing even for kids these days.  

Making time for play isn’t just important for kids, adults benefit from playful experiences as well. Parents can find ways to play alone or with other adults, since play doesn’t have to be a kid activityAlthough play is a great tool for families to build trust, resilience, and joy together. As well as help create a sense of safety for kids by establishing positive bonds between parent and child. Keep in mind that play is for all ages, and find ways to incorporate play in your routine.  

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