Hello dollies! This year my friends Gail from Is This Mutton and Deb from Deb’s World have come up with a new monthly blogging series “Tell Us About…..” They are sharing cohosting duties with Mary Katherine from MK’s Adventures in Style, Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper, and Jill from Grownup Glamour. This creative writing challenge invites bloggers to respond to a different prompt on the third Thursday of the month. The gals will be taking turns coming up with the prompts and this month Deb chose the word play.
o2.2023 Tell Us About: Play
Gail chose the word time for January’s prompt. I enjoyed reading everyone’s responses so much that I asked Gail to include me in the emails she sends out announcing each new month’s theme. When I learned that this month we would be writing about play, I started brainstorming activities and ideas I associate with play.
How Play Looks Today
It is easy for me to get wrapped around the hub and forget to play a little every day. Just ask my sister. She is always asking me if I did anything fun. My dad would often ask me the same thing. I look around the house and see laundry to be washed, clothes to be ironed, rugs to be vacuumed and floors to be mopped. It’s hard for me to justify scrapbooking, or taking a nap or reading a book when there’s all that other junk to do.
And then there’s that whole crazy fear of scrapbooking and messing it up. Or doing some creative writing and my writing not making a lick of sense. That whole perfectionistic fear of making mistakes.
Even with all of those mental roadblocks, I do manage to indulge in playtime now and then.
Here’s how playing looks today:
- playing music…when I work out, when I go for walks, when I drive my car. We are really enjoying our Supernatural virtual reality workouts. Last night I played tennis using my Oculus VR goggles, then I boxed to Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” and “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga. Several years ago, Lauren bought me a record player so we could enjoy all the old LPs PC and I had saved from our youth and stored in the closet under the stairs. I love listening to John Denver when I clean the house. And we crank it up in the summer so we can hear it in the backyard while we clean the pool. The music makes working more like fun.
- playing games…now and then PC and I will have a game night at home. And whenever we get together with the girls, at the beach or recently with Lauren’s family in Santa Fe, we play Pictionary.
- playing sports…which I really do very little of. But in my life, I have enjoyed tennis, racquetball and pickleball. And in warmer weather, PC and I take walks, often bouncing a basketball or rubber baseball back and forth between us. Sometimes kicking a soccer ball to each other. And of course, there are endless baseball games every year. PC has already had his first scrimmage for this year’s baseball season. They will likely play until November. That’s a lot of playing.
- playing carols at Christmas and singing along with the grands. Wrote a little about that in a recent post on the first Christmas without my mom. It was so joyful to sing – even off-key – with my babies!! This is different to me from playing regular music. I never heard many carols when I was a child. Loved sharing them and singing them with Lucia and Camila.
- playing with the grandbabies…at the park, at the beach, in the snow, on the area rug in our den. Their delight at the world, at the simple things in life is contagious. So many wonderful memories made every time I am with Declan, Camila, Lucia and my darling Cadence.
- playing the piano…which I have dabbled with again lately. Hope to do more of that now that I am not subbing as much.
- going to a play…tomorrow it’s “Alice in Wonderland” at the El Paso Playhouse with PC, Lauren, Lucia and Cami. Should be great fun. We have taken in a number of plays there. So enjoyed “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Plaza downtown and came out to discover it was snowing afterward.
- artistic play…scrapbooking, creating art projects, even working on my cross-stitch elephant at night, which is a winter bucket list activity.
I have been feeling very hopeful about 2023 in that I am attempting to allow myself to play a bit more each day. We have joined a writing club. Recently created a bucket list to remind me of things I want to enjoy during this season. And my WOTY is consistent…as in I want to be consistent in all that I do. Keeping up with the house, my playtime, my blog, my reading club but above all my family and my quiet time.
How Play Looked Yesterday
Among the errands we ran today was getting myself a replacement ID badge for subbing. Have gone back and forth about whether I want to/should continue subbing. But my badge had fallen apart so decided that I should get a new one. I get so frustrated with the kids’ behavior, some of the crazy worksheets they are given to do. But I appreciate the opportunity to make extra money.
No Time for Play
Last year and this year, I have subbed quite a bit in kindergarten. Let me tell you, kinder is not what it used to be. Remember the toy kitchen set? The little table and chairs? The baby dolls? The doctor kits, the dress up clothes. Well, they are no longer apart of the kinder classrooms in the district where I am working. There is really little time built in the day for play. For learning to share. For give and take. The kinder teacher I have been subbing for this year has 2 periods of time that the children move through centers. That allows them an opportunity to move about some and engage in activities other than paper and pencil or cut and glue. But these 5-year-olds really have minimal for play.
Play Back in the Day
When I was in elementary school, I played at school and I played at home. I played a whole lot of pretend. Let’s pretend kind of playing. Let’s pretend we are Laura and Mary Ingalls from “Little House on the Prairie” books and TV show. Or let’s pretend we are Maria and Liesl from “The Sound of Music” musical and movie. I also pretended to be a runaway slave on the Underground Railroad and Anne Frank in hiding after learning about both in school.
I had Barbies and baby dolls, a kitchen set. Skates and a bike. We had a basketball hoop in our driveway. I loved to build with Legos. In the summers we played kick the can, climbed trees and swung in the park. We’d walk or ride bikes to the 7-11 convenience store for Slurpees. Paper dolls cut from Sears catalogs. They were great, ‘free’ fun.
I knew how to play in a big way. And I did it. Want to do more of that fun stuff this year.
What does the word play bring to mind for you? What playful activities do you engage in as an adult? Do you find it difficult to make time for play of any sort? I was curious about the benefits of play for adults so put on my librarian’s cap and found this article entitled “The Benefits of Play for Adults” on HelpGuide.org. The authors state:
While play is crucial for a child’s development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages. Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable.
Lots of good reasons to break out those Barbies and Legos or to grab the grands and go to the park.
As I mentioned in my Ageless Style post from earlier in the week, we have had a bit of a set back to our new year. I don’t want to say anything more right now than to ask for your good thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks. Sure appreciate the time you spend visiting me here. So glad we are friends. Enjoy your weekend.
Hugs and kisses,
You certainly have a lot of playful moments in your busy days! What a great post.
I think children learn a lot through play, so it’s a shame that your kindergarten doesn’t have too much play time built into the days. At least your little princesses have plenty of play time with you outside of school!
Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
I def. need to play more as I tend to always focus on what I need to get done, which is terrible. I could say that playing for me is when I get outside weekly for my long runs… it is work, but I enjoy it (or I do after! haha!). I also enjoy reading and lately I’ve been really enjoying my Bible Recap bible study I do every day. Also, getting an iced coffee once a week and just sitting and relaxing while I sip it slowly is something I truly enjoy and look forward to each week. I am sure playing with your grandkids is a lot of fun! I would love to try pickle ball, but have no idea where to even start with that.
You sure covered a lot of different types of play!
Great post Leslie! You’re packing in a lot of play, even with all the chores and perfectionism. I’m very impressed with your VR tennis. I had a VR headset but didn’t really get into games or sport, which was a shame.
Sounds like the 5 year olds in kinder have a raw deal with hardly any play. Back in the day we had so much – creating plays, finding dens, picking wild flowers, Action Men, Barbie and Sindy (the UK equivalent), plus go-karts our dads made, and the usual creative things like Fuzzy Felt, Spirograph, cutting out paper dolls and throwing glitter over everything.
Thanks for joining us! The March prompt is SCENT, from Jill, and I’ll send out a note.
Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy
So many different types of play! I love the variety. You are so correct about kinder having so little play time. Thankfully, the kinder classes I have subbed in still do have some time for play, but it is not as much as it used to be (due in large to things out of teacher control). I could get on a soap box about some school issues these days. lol
Lydia C. Lee
I loved my barbies and doll house – still do. They’re packed up for grandkids now – who probably won’t want them! I did buy a puzzle game to play solo but I’ve yet to open it – been a very busy few months. Soon!
Hi Leslie, this was a fantastic summary of the importance of play in your life and you have such a zest for life! Your photos show perfectly how play should be done but I’m sorry to hear 5yr olds aren’t getting much time to play these days. That’s sad.
Thanks for joining us and hope to see you next month! xx