I have always been fascinated by play. As a mental health professional, I was trained to assess how a child’s play reflected his developmental level and contained clues to her ability to connect, be creative, express traumatic experiences, neurological issues, and more. Nowadays, though, I enjoy just watching children immersed in play – the way they give themselves to an activity tuning out everything else.
But play is not just for children. As adults, we must continue to play. We have many reasons for playing: stress control, pure fun, staying in shape, expressing our creativity, connecting with other people, to be entertained, seeing and experiencing new places and cultures, expressing a ceremonial aspect of our own culture – all of these are forms of adult play.
Some of us draw a distinct line between work and play; the two don’t mix. Play only happens after work, on vacation, or weekends. For others, work and play blend together. They love their work so much that it feels like play, or their play turns into an activity or product that then can be marketed.
Animals always seem to invite us to play and be in the moment with them.
Many of us are drawn to water and we can play in and with water in a myriad of ways:
Sometimes, we “play” by strolling around, hanging out together, resting on a park bench, or reading:
Sometimes we play by crafting a painting, a birdhouse, a shed, or tinkering and fixing things:
We play by physically exerting ourselves, either alone or in groups:
We either entertain others or we are being entertained:
Another important form of play that transmits cultural and religious identities are the various celebrations and rituals we engage in, special foods we may cook, festivals we attend, holiday customs we observe:
My favorite ways to play are taking photographs, writing, hiking, and traveling.
What are yours?
You can find more posts featuring images of humanity on the Weekly Photo Challenge.