Legos, Sandcastles and Kites
I'm always amazed by children's ability to play for hours on end, to create mini-worlds and get sucked right into them. Kids don't need TV to be entertained - they need a big box and scissors, paper and crayons, or a box of Legos. I'm sure you can remember the magical feeling you got as a kid when you were building or making something new, whether it was a toilet paper tube craft or a mechanical contraption. Why do so many of us stop doing this when we "grow up"?
Perhaps we suddenly see no purpose - why make a kite from scratch, for example, when we can buy one? (If we would still fly one!) As we become older and more practical we often shut off that playful, creative and curious side of ourselves. But it's pretty simple to dust off those creative corners of our minds and get back in the game, if we just give ourselves permission to "unleash the inner child". You'd be surprised how much fun it is and how it takes your mind off your "real" adult life. And, best of all, developing a more creative mind has a powerful impact on the rest of our lives. We begin to think of new slants to projects at work, find ourselves more spontaneous in our relationships and even think of new approaches to our problems. Corporations and psychologists are now realizing the benefits, as evident in play therapy and play consultants training employees to think out of the box.
So why not apply this to your own lives? Choose activities that you dug as a kid - chances are you still do, and mix in some new ones. Here are some suggestions:
Visit a toy store and try out the new stuff. (even better with some friends!)
Put some toys on your desk, in your kitchen, bathroom...
Get a bunch of junk, scissors and glue - start creating! Finger paint
Make sandcastles or, in the winter, snow sculptures.
Master a yo-yo or learn to juggle.
Whatever you do, have fun!
by T.L. Scribe