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Playtime: Who Says it’s Just for Kids?

By State Point

While most of us associate playtime with childhood, adults increasingly acknowledge the importance of play and leisure time for themselves. And after having been cooped up for over a year, everyone could use some playtime.

A new survey commissioned by The Genius of Play and conducted by OnePoll, finds that 89% of adults have learned to appreciate the importance of play and leisure time over the past year. What’s more, 84% say taking time to play helps them to be more productive at work.

“You’re never too young or too old to play,” says Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association, which spearheads The Genius of Play. “In fact, research links play with a number of wellness benefits in adults, such as reducing stress, boosting life satisfaction, and empowering people to be creative, flexible thinkers.”

Would you like to incorporate more play into your life? Consider these tips from The Genius of Play:

Take on a Hobby: 70% of adults picked up a new hobby or leisure activity over the past year, with good reason. Hobbies can be a source of positive emotions, get you outdoors, encourage physical activity and social interactions, and spark creativity. From roller skating to dancing to crafting to playing an instrument, consider taking on a new, playful hobby or revisiting one you enjoyed during childhood.

Plan a Game Night: While play often occurs spur-of-the-moment, life is hectic, schedules are jam-packed. Consider scheduling time for fun to ensure it happens. For example, make one evening each week a totally screen-free, experience. Order pizza (or your household’s cuisine of choice) and break out non-digital games or puzzles. Maybe a themed trivia night delving into your family/friends’ favorite subjects?

Hop in the Car: Whether you choose a destination that allows you to simply relax, or you take on a more active adventure, a trip can broaden your horizons and rejuvenate you when you’re feeling down or just trapped in the daily routine. For an afternoon or a weekend consider a just-for-fun trip on your own, with a friend or partner, or pack up the car and bring the kids.

Bring out Your Inner Child: Parents, grandparents, and anyone with a kid in their life can spend more time playing with the little ones. What’s more fun than playing tag with a 6-year-old? Not only is play the perfect way to bond, but research also highlights a number of associated health benefits. Those who play with children burn 20% more calories per week, and researchers link playfulness to creativity, spontaneity, and positive attitudes. Intergenerational play can help adults maintain cognitive skills as they age and even extend their life. A study published in the journal “Evolution and Human Behavior” found that grandparents who help with grandchildren live longer.

It’s summer, get your yard sprinklers out, invite your favorite kids and get your playtime on!

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