Ten Ways to Add Play Into Your Day

How are you feeling today? A little rough? Cold? Tired? Broke? Sad?

In this month's Talking to Myself, I chatted with kindergarten teacher, Peter Dargatz, who wrote a book about play. He said play is anything that makes us feel happy and alive. He said we should try to add play into our lives.

Inspired, I made a list to add PLAY into your life. It doesn't matter if you're five or 125! Maybe if we do a little play, we can minimize or even erase those unhappy feelings.

1 - Blow Bubbles

You probably have some bubbles hiding somewhere from a wedding you attended way back. If not, buy some in the party section of a store or check out recipes from HGTV. You may have to blow bubbles in the bathroom if you don't want your co-workers to see you or you don't want to get the floors wet. If the boss or teachers don't care, everyone should blow bubbles together. Have you ever been in a room full of bubbles? It's magical.

2 - Sing Do-Re-Mi

Nothing clears out the lungs and sinuses like singing at the top of your lungs. If you're a shower singer - congratulations! Sing easy songs - unless you must do opera. Just have fun! And don't worry about how you sound.

Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow!

My father taught us kids a ridiculous song. When he was dying and I was with him, I didn't know what to say. The song popped into my head. It felt a little irreverent to sing it, but I did. His eyes opened, he smiled, and lightly applauded. It was one of the most poignant, tender moments of my life.

3 - Say Ribbit Ribbit

If your knees are good, do the frog hop while you're saying ribbit, ribbit. If you don't like sounding like a frog, pig or cow sounds are fun, too. Oink, oink. Mooooo. Moooo. Barking is okay, but I don't think it sounds as funny as oinking or mooing. It's a personal preference.

My daughter, Bridget, taught us this game. If you're driving and see a field of cows, pull over and start mooing. Count how many cows turn to look at you. If you have five people in the car, you'll need to pull over five separate times. Whoever gets the most cows to look at them, wins the game.

4 - Answer the Phone Like a Robot

This might not be a good idea at the office, but if you are at home, and it's a telemarketer calling (or friend), say very slowly and without emotion - "Hello." The person on the other end will pause. It happened the other day. My phone rang. "Spam likely" flashed on the screen. "Hello," I said, very slowly. The young man didn't know what to do but he finally asked, "Is this Carol?"

It ended up being a call for my YouTube. I apologized and told him my phone said it was Spam. He laughed. This can be a tricky one but it can also be fun!

5 - Chat With Telemarketers

I learned this from my daughters. Get creative! If the person wants to sell you windows, tell them you want stained-glass and need five-hundred. If they are selling roofs, tell them you have a swimming pool on your roof. You only want roof tiles from Portugal. Ask if they could work around that. If you haven't figured out why they're calling, tell them you're looking for your toenail clipper. Cry as if your clipper is the most important thing in your life. They'll hang up quickly!

6 - Pretend You're the Karate Kid

Wave your arms and lift your feet as if you're some expert in martial arts. Add a little, "Whooooooo," to the mix and you're playing. Your family or the people around you will give you funny stares. If you have dogs, like I do, they'll bark. That'll make it even more enjoyable.

7 - Make Memes

Memes are the rage. My daughters scroll through meme feeds and laugh. I'm not saying to make memes to be shared on TikTok, but memes to be shared around the house. Find a celebrity or some image and add a goofy quote. Hang it up in the bathroom or the entryway. Make one for the postal carrier. Yep, they'll all think you need a vacation. You probably do. But for now, you're just playing! (Be careful with this one at work!)

8 - Sticky Notes

If memes are too complicated, get some sticky notes and draw smiley faces on them. Hang them all over the place. If you don't have sticky notes, find some paper and tape. Just do it!

9 - Rooster Dance

Get those arms moving. Flap them like a rooster or chicken and make sure you add a little crowing or clucking. If necessary, find the Chicken Dance on YouTube and dance to it.

10 - Get Outside

If it's cold, watch your breath as you exhale. If it's warm, dig for nightcrawlers or look for ladybugs. If getting outside is impossible, go to a window or have someone get you images of outside. Look up. See if the moon is still hanging around in the morning. Find the Big Dipper at night. On rainy days, get your umbrella and sing.

Being outside is a great place to find fun without a lot of effort. You probably won't get too many strange looks, either. Though, does it matter? Do I care that my daughter, Monica, said, "Mom, you have totally lost it!" when she learned about this blog?

WARNING: You will encounter negative people who will not share your delight. Do not let them drag you down. Find your joy and spread it! And, if you have any other ideas you wish to share, email me at: storiesaua@gmail.com

Thank you for reading!


About the author:

Carol Paur had a short stint doing standup comedy. When she worked at a hospital, she also gave presentations titled, "Getting Your Laugh Life Together," to show the positive health benefits of laughter. On most days she is searching for the good in the bad, the positive in the negative, and the joy in the sadness.

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