There is something beautiful and heartwarming about watching children play. In this age of technology, seeing children running, laughing and enjoying each other is very special. We can see the benefits of play for our children, but as adults with busy lives we seldom see it as a priority for ourselves.
My family loves playing board games – it can be difficult to find an activity that we can all enjoy together, but board games really work for us. We have also found playing games a great way to connect and relax with friends. When a friend is going through a tough time, playing board games together can even be therapeutic. Playing provides an excuse to laugh, lay aside our concerns for a little while and just connect with each other.
“Playing games is a great antidote to stress and helps us to connect and bond with those around us. And when we feel more relaxed and connected, we are more likely to show kindness.” Jaime Thurston, Kindness: the little thing that matters most
Of course it doesn’t have to be board games – there are many ways to play together that reach across generations. When my children were small I started a mother and toddler art group in my home to encourage fun and to help parents play with their children. It often got messy, but it was lovely to see the relationship between parent and child grow as they explored and played together.
This week I was watching a Creative English session at my local community hub. Creative English uses drama and role play to teach English, but it does so much more than that. As the learners ‘play’ together, they relax, laugh, grow in confidence and build community. (Watching the session made me want to learn English just to have fun with them!)
Take time this week to play with your family and friends and to recharge your batteries. It will be a great kindness to them and also to you.