Inspire Joy! Play More: 5 Ways Play Matters

Doesn't the idea of more joy in your life intrigue you? Who wouldn't want that? Unless you are joy-phobic, chances are you could use a little more of uplifting stuff in your life. There's always room for "that certain gelatin concoction" (or so the ad says) and there's always room for JOY! Add some more to your family's or classroom's day!

Inspiring joy doesn't take a whole heck of a lot of effort. There are some simple ways to do it! Before we get to the "play" part, we must first and foremost:

~ Be Like a Photographer - Change perspective 

Every single experience we have is filtered through our perspective. If things are dark and gloomy in your head, put in a new "lens" and see things from a new angle. Teach kids to do the same and teach it with a joyful heart. I'm no expert in photography, but I know that they change lenses often, depending upon the changing conditions around them, and they change their focus, too, honing in on only certain parts of things. 

Some camera shots are super cool, taking a hyper-focus on a beautiful aspect of something, while downplaying or blurring what's around it. We can do that in our lives, you know? We simply focus on the best aspect of each situation. This is a cultivated trait....and we have to keep applying this concept to get really good at it. It comes as second-nature, eventually. I promise! (This is one of the most important steps to finding joy in our daily lives.)

Life is busy! I get it! It's my reality, too. That doesn't mean we can't approach the more "work-y" or tedious parts of our life with a more playful attitude. We can totally control that aspect of every part of our lives. Be more intentional with a focus on a "playful" approach. But make sure there's time for true play...when you and your kids can be at ease, joyful and curious! 

Now that we've got our head's on straight, let's focus on the ways play matters:

1. Play is a critical part of learning. 

There's lots going on "behind the scenes" and in your child's brain when they play. Play encompasses every area of learning: cognitive, social, emotional, physical. It is a critical piece to learning that should never be underestimated. Play and learning have a symbiotic relationship...the two go together and are not separate entities.

2. Building Better Brains

Play builds better brains. It's been researched and fleshed out by the likes of Dr. Sergio Pellis, whose work is inspiring...and apparently brings him great joy! See! This all goes back to the notion of making our work our play. I'm telling you...this is BIG! Click through to read about prefontal cortexes (PFCs) and neurons and all that jazz. Play really matters.

3. Play helps children adjust and cope.

Play is a joyful endeavor that can also help mediate stress in children. Problems are solved and new ways of thinking about a situation can all be worked out in play. Children re-enact difficult situations through their play, in order to gain mastery over them. 
    4. Recess is NOT a Privilege, it's a Right.

    I say that with no reservations. Unequivocally. If your child attends a school where recess can be removed as a consequence for misbehavior or missing work, you might wish to attend a school board meeting in your district and share the facts. There are so many other skill-building ways to help kids perform better. Punishment is simply not the best way, now that we know better! (See BLOOM to read more on provides tons of options for skill-building and teaching, rather than punishing.)

    5. Many Ways to Play

    Play is not a one-size fits all. There are so many dimensions to play and all of them are important. There are games we play that have rules, there's dramatic play, symbolic play, outdoor play and free play, for starters. Structured play and unstructured play, play with open-ended and close-ended, play, play. The important thing is to make sure your children get plenty time for it! 

    Most importantly: Don't Forget to Play!

    And for a more playful, 
    that is in keeping with 
    best-practices based on the 
    latest neuroscientific research, 
    be sure to check out BLOOM.

    We are indebted to the esteemed 
    Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
    and Neuroscientist, 
    for giving our book the 
    "nod of approval"!

    Build a happier family today with BLOOM!

    Teach Love, Kindness and Compassion
    this Valentine's Day!

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    Click image to see find out more or go HERE.


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