The power of play

Definition of Play

‘A physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective’

playtherapy.org.uk, 2017

orbeez

I first started thinking about this post when I bought Little One some Orbeez

Playing with Orbeez is about as pure as play can get.  It’s sensory, it’s fun, silly and ultimately quite pointless.  But that’s the point…

Initially I bought Orbeez with educationalist, adult thinking.  Mindful, sensory play after school to quieten the noise of a day’s overload.  Science!  Experimenting with liquid, solids, estimating volume, tipping, pouring.

But you know what some of the most fun things to do are?

  • Squish Orbeez between your fingers
  • Put your feet in a washing up bowl filled with water and Orbeez
  • Tip Orbeez from a great height and watch them bounce all over the kitchen
  • Pipe a single Orbee at a time out of a plastic piping bag

(I’m aware that these are also Science but they didn’t come out of that ‘child must learn something’ motivation!)

I have laughed along with Scary Mommy and her puzzlement about why her kids are obsessed with Orbeez (check out the YouTube video!) but I am also learning a lot for myself by observing the way Little One approaches her Orbeez time.

In our increasingly pressured world, we need time for utterly pointless play – especially us adults.  It might not look like a washing up bowl full of Orbeez for you or I (although I would recommend trying it!)  It might look like putting on some boots and kicking Autumn leaves.  Making some jelly (or Jell-O USA buddies) for your kids’ tea, just because it’s Tuesday.  Swimming in the sea for fun rather than for exercise.

Whatever you choose to do, try taking the adult objective out of it.  Do it just because it’s pointless, and fun.

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