The Power of Play
The lifelong benefits of PLAY
Play connects us to others
Sharing joy, laughter and fun with others promotes bonding and strengthens a sense of community. We develop empathy, compassion, trust, and the capacity for intimacy through regular play.
Play fosters creativity, flexibility, and learning
Play is a doorway to learning. Play stimulates our imaginations, helping us adapt and solve problems. Play arouses curiosity, which leads to discovery and creativity. The components of play - curiosity, discovery, novelty, risk-taking, trial and error, pretense, games, social etiquette and other increasingly complex adaptive activities - are the same as the components of learning.
Play is an antidote to loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression
When we play vigorously, we trigger a mix of endorphins that lift our spirits and distractions that distance us from pain, fear and other burdens. And when we play with other people, with friends and strangers, we are reminded that we are not alone in this world. We can connect to others in delightful and meaningful ways that banish loneliness.
Play teaches us perseverance
The rewards of learning or mastering a new game teach us that perseverance is worthwhile. Perseverance is a trait necessary to healthy adulthood, and it is learned largely through play. Perseverance and violence are rarely found together.
Play makes us happy
Beyond all these excellent reasons for playing, there is simply the sheer joy of it. Play is a state of being that is happy and joyous. Jumping into and out of the world of play on a daily basis can preserve and nourish our own hearts, and the hearts of our communities.