The most common question I get asked whenever I mention the School of Play is this: “The School of Play… what’s your demographic?”
What people really want to know is: “What kinds of adults want to play?” And, more importantly, “Are these adults like me?”
Based on my observations:
1. Adults who come to play at the school usually have a healthy sense of curiosity and some memory of play associated with past happiness.
2. The adults come from a diverse background with a shared desire to play more in order to achieve more of what they want in life. There is no stereotype of a typical player (or playmaker as I like to call us). This is evidence that play satisfies a fundamental drive and supports the ongoing development and maintenance of adults, not just for children.
The Risk of Play
It’s a well-known phenomenon that play isn’t all laughter and lightness. True play also comes with a degree of risk, stretching us beyond our comfort zone so that we can grow to become the person we want to be.
The Reward of Play
The reward of this risk-taking is a sense of freedom that many of us rarely get to experience as adults in our everyday life. And rarely at work. Engaging with more play outside of work is one way to begin to address this imbalance.
Do you dare to play?
Play means different things to different people but the benefits of play remain the same for those who have fun and let themselves enjoy life as it comes. When we play, we feel a sense of connectedness, to others and to ourselves. We feel a sense of belonging and play gives us hope so long as we keep going in pursuit of our life’s purpose (including figuring what it actually is).
What more can we ask of something seemingly simple and modest as pure play?
Yay or Nay to Play?
When we play, we become present as our whole selves and with this comes a great joy, relief and reassurance that we actually have what we need to overcome the challenges we face – at times, with a little help from our friends, of course!
So what will you choose to say the next time you’re invited to play?