Why PLAY?

So, I get to wrap up the Big Idea Festival at Big Picture Classes and my word is PLAY.

Several years ago, when I began a serious study of play (there’s an oxymoron for you) I filled a couple of pages in my “playbook” with ideas about play. I love that I did this and I would challenge you to do the same thing. Define what PLAY means to you. We often say we work too hard and don’t play enough, but if you don’t really know what it means to play, then how do you know whether you’re doing enough of it. I’ve discovered that I can play simply by talking to my children in a funny accent, or putting on a silly song and inviting everyone around me to stop and dance. I can visit Suessville or read some Shel Silverstein (seriously, you should click on those links now and watch the intros — you have time.) I can type a word into Google Images, like wave or toasted cheese sandwich.  Because I one day typed “turquoise chevron” in Google Images, I learned that you can order personalized iPhone wallpaper through Etsy. Who knew?

Anyway, my whole point is that PLAY is what you decide to make it and you can make it in a very brief moment.
I was raised in a home where you work, then play.
But I think you can work and play almost simultaneously and when you do you have a LOT more fun and even more importantly, you access the reaches of your brain and intellect that need to be accessed to spark the creativity that is required in today’s work.

I hope you’ll login to BPC and watch my silly little video. I was a lot of FUN to make.
And because I have a few playful resources to share, I now present you with a Friday FIVE, with a little twist at the end …

ONE.

This really good book all about the science behind play and WHY we need to protect our playfulness.

Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

TWO.

This video from the folks at Life is Good. They are doing something about the lack of PLAY in children’s lives. Very cool.

To learn more this awesome Playmakers initiative. click HERE.

THREE.

Smencils.
Seriously … check these out and add them to your list of back-to-school supplies. Mine have not arrived yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to love them.

Sheets of newspaper are tightly rolled around the colored core until pencils begin to take shape. Yes, they really are pencils made from rolled sheets of newspaper instead of wood! You can even see the layers of newspaper when you sharpen them. Next they are soaked in gourmet liquid scents (made by an award winning fragrance company). Once they’re dry, each Smencil is placed into its own Freshness Tube. Smencils will maintain their scent for 2 years even if you are lazy and do not place them back into their tube!
You can purchase Smencils on the website perpetualkid.com (what a cool name for a website!)

FOUR.

Play-Doh scented perfume (also from Perpetual Kid)
I’ve actually had this (bought it at Urban Outfitters years ago) and was so happy to find it again. They have other scents like Crayon and Junior Mint too!

FIVE.


image source.

I love this icon that is now almost universally recognized as the symbol of “play” because it also suggests START and playing is about starting something.
So, my number FIVE is for you.
What playful notion will you start today or this weekend?
Where will you go?
What will you do?
Leave me a comment and share a playful idea or website or product with me.

And then, go PLAY!

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