Why does life have to be so serious? When did I grow up? When did I forget how to play and have fun? As a former early childhood educator, I’m aware of the joy and freedom that can be found in play. Yet now that I’m not working I find myself dragging myself through endless “to do” lists and chores.
I sometimes wonder if I would enjoy my role as mom more if I played frequently. I’m not just talking about playing with my children, I do a lot of that, I’m talking about using some of my free time to play!
What would we be like if we nurtured and connected with our inner child? Would there be as much conflict, crime, and war?
Are you curious about play? Do you wish you could connect with your inner child? If so, here are some ways to do so!Life doesn't have to be so serious! Here are some tips to connect with your inner child. Click To Tweet
Dig out a costume and wear it for the day.
I love this about children. Regardless of the day or occasion, they will wear a costume when the feel like it. We’re going grocery shopping… well, let me dig out my princess crown and duck costume!
Imagine doing the laundry while wearing chaps and a cowboy hat or washing dishes while wearing a cape?!
Find a hill and do a log roll down it.
Do you remember doing this? Throw your body down a hill and roll wildly to the bottom. Just try not to giggle!
Get out your rubber boots and go puddle hopping!
Dig out those rubber boots and do some serious puddle hopping. For more fun, do this with a friend!
Twirl around and around until you get dizzy!
Go into the middle of a field and twirl around and around until you fall to the ground. Then watch the world continue to spin about your head!
Be completely silly.
Whether you’re re-enacting a scene from a movie or pretending you’re a robot, try being completely goofy, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
I’m not talking about a blood-curdling “I’m being murdered” scream but a “Wheeee… life is fun scream”.
Go to the playground and swing on a swing.
Pump your legs as hard as you can and swing as high as you can! Then close your eyes and laugh. Feel the wind on your face and in your hair.
Blast your favourite tunes and dance your wildest dance!
Ride a bike.
Okay, so maybe you already ride a bike but what about riding a bike that’s too small for you? While you’re at it, hang your tongue out like a dog and drink up the air!
Forget about fashion sense.
I just love how children can feel perfectly confident and content dressing themselves in a cowboy hat, a tutu and rubber boots! Try to do the same. Go to your closet and/or your tickle trunk and put on your favourite clothing items. Enjoy the looks you get as you walk down the street!
Play with playdough.
Squish, squeeze, pound and sculpt a hunk of dough! Revel in the way your hands can work the dough. Poke it. Smell it. Have fun!
Do some fingerpainting.
Roll up your sleeves and dip your fingers in some paint. Squish the paint on the paper and enjoy the texture.
Make a mud pie.
Now that you’ve gotten a little “messy”, why not get step it up?! Soak some dirt, get out a plate and make a mud pie. Get creative and add some leaves and twigs for decoration. If you’re enjoying yourself, why not cover yourself in mud and roll around in it? Come on, you know you want to!
Have a water fight.
After you’ve played in the mud, why not have a water fight?! Fill up the water balloons, water guns, squirt bottles, and grab a bucket with sponges. Launch an attack on your spouse, friends, or kids. You’ll be laughing in no time!
Make a blanket fort.
Every kid, at one time or another, has made a blanket fort but when was the last time you made one all for yourself?!
I remember when I was a kid, I would find all sorts of places to hide. Under the bed, in a cupboard, or behind a shower curtain. I loved those minutes alone and the eager anticipation that someone might discover me hiding in my secret spot.
See if you can find a hiding spot of your own. The smaller the spot, the better!
Go outside, lie on your back, and do some cloud watching.
I see a horse, a balloon, a rabbit… cloud watching sparks the imagination and invigorates the inner child in you.
You may do this for your children but try blowing some bubbles just for your own enjoyment. Watch the way the light reflects off of them and catch them in your hands.
Play childhood games.
You can skip rope, hopscotch or twirl a hula hoop! Do an activity that makes you feel young and alive!
Who says we have to grow old? Our hearts can be forever young… we just have to allow ourselves to see the world through a child’s eyes and experience it with a child’s sense of exploration, openness and freedom.