Play: Why adults need ‘recess’ too

Play is important for adults too

The opposite of play is not work, it is depression—Brian Sutton-Smith

There’s something to be said for keeping your “inner child” alive, active and entertained. It’s okay to be playful. In fact, it’s good for you. As adults, we have a tendency to think of play as an unproductive waste of time. I’m here to counter that argument.

At age 34, I still get giddy when passing a playground. I love swings and monkey bars. I turn cartwheels down the beach (and occasionally in empty hotel hallways) and just last week ventured to a trampoline park with my work colleagues—sans children. We let loose, acted silly and had a blast. See my Instagram stories for comical tumbling outtakes.

Research shows that play yields powerful benefits for kids. It helps them learn, stimulates creativity, teaches social networking and reduces stress. Those same results hold true for adults. The scholar quoted above, Brian Sutton-Smith, believed so strongly in play that he dedicated his life to its study. He found it essential to our well-being. Like sleep, Sutton Smith argued that play is a basic human need. If you want to dive deep into the topic, some have even suggested a lack of play can contribute to violence.

When did you last play?

adult play play for adultsthe benefit of play for adults Floral Leggings (only $25!) | Top | Sunglasses

While playing with your children is a wonderful and essential thing, we are talking about play in addition to those moments, an “adult recess” of sorts.

This playfulness should be distinctly joyful and personal to you.

It can take many different forms, frolicking on a beach, kicking around a soccer ball with a rec league, collecting something or perhaps reading a book. However, the non-profit National Institute for Play says three things should hold true:

  • It offers a sense of engagement and pleasure
  • It takes the player out of a sense of time and place
  • The experience is more important than the outcome

The benefits

  • Research suggests that playful adults are able to transform everyday situations—even stressful situations—into something entertaining.
  • Play can help optimize learning.
  • It also helps increase the harmony and effectiveness of our relationships with others.

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So, what now? 

Think back to what you enjoyed as a child. How can you connect to that now? Is there a way to adapt a favorite activity from your youth? Here are a few ideas to get you started…

  1. Check out a trampoline park: Some have adult hours, dodge ball leagues or even exercise classes for the over 18 crowd. If not, try going after 8 p.m. We went to Get Air on a weeknight and had the place to ourselves. As a former competitive gymnast, I just love the freedom and joy of flipping through the air. 

  2. Join a kickball league: Think this one’s just for kids? Think again! Many cities offer leagues. It’s a great way to meet people and get in some exercise too.

  3. Have a paint and wine night: There are lots of places popping up that will walk you through an art project as you enjoy a delicious glass of vino. Painting With a Twist is one example in my city. 

  4. Try a book club: Push yourself outside your reading comfort zone and meet other literary types. 

  5. Fly a kite, go sledding, have a water fight: These “childish” activities are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. 

Planning active play? Try these spring looks!


  1. Ann Snook-Moreau | 11th Mar 18

    I love this! My husband and I try to be playful a lot. Coloring, kid’s board games, and going to the arcade are all big parts of our leisure time.

    • laveremis | 12th Mar 18

      Sounds like you guys would be a great group to hang out with 🙂

  2. Motivelina | 11th Mar 18

    Amazing pictures 😉 it’s so refreshing to read a blog post like this. I love playing, running, jumping and my partner joins me too, the more we laugh the more bonded we feel.

    • laveremis | 12th Mar 18

      Thank you! Laughter is so important. In fact, being silly together was the first way my husband I truly connected prior to becoming a couple.

  3. Twinspirational | 12th Mar 18

    For us play time is gym time! It’s a great way to get in shape and relax and feel good.

    • laveremis | 12th Mar 18

      Yes! Gym time is such a healthy outlet!

  4. Elizabeth O | 12th Mar 18

    What a great idea. Too often adults forget to take time for themselves. I like the idea of a trampoline park!

  5. Sudip Saha | 12th Mar 18

    Great pics. Most of the adults are always under work-life stress. Play can help them to get rid of the monotony and to get rid of the stress.

    • laveremis | 12th Mar 18

      Thank you! Yes, we can get so caught up in our daily stresses. Play is a wonderful resource.

  6. Jennifer | 12th Mar 18

    Hands down my favorite thing to do on a playground is swing on the swings. I love the feeling!! 🙂

  7. Nathan Reid | 14th Mar 18

    Love your outfit. So comfortable. I do have playtime, too, with my kids and siblings. It always feel nice to feel young again.

  8. creditfreeze | 22nd Mar 18

    Thanks 4 the chapter!custom writing

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