It’s Summer Time. The sun is up longer, the days are warmer and there’s No School! Can you remember that feeling of freedom and possibility that came with the beginning of every summer? I loved that feeling. In fact, I still do.

Alas, for adults, school usually doesn’t let out and work-life keeps on going. And, we all know what happens when we are all work and no play…

My daughter is heading off to college, which makes time feel ever more precious. It magnifies how fast my younger nephews are growing up. It reminds me of the strength and joy that comes from friends and family. Therefore, I’m making a priority this summer to carve out a little extra time to spend playing with my family and friends.

  • I’ll be teaching my daughter to play pool, poker, euchre and hearts. We will be cooking together in the kitchen and out on the grill, creating new recipes and concoctions.
  • I’ll build sand castles and jump off a small bridge into a pond with my 9-year-old nephew. He will turn around to beat me at any of a number of card games and amaze me with his prowess at building toys.
  • We will take hikes in the local state park, hit a volleyball back and forth on the neighborhood playground, and just walk around town one day going into any building that looks interesting and inviting. We’ll discover art, toys, food, clothing, colors, animals, people, odd objects and many, many more things to spark our curiosity and imagination.
  • We will read books together. We will go catch a free concert outside. We will go watch the July 4 fireworks, eat burgers, and ooh and aah at the spectacle. We will wish we lived near fireflies. We’ll have game night every week to try out new games with new and old friends.

Much of the time, we parents will just get out of the way and admire our kids at play. We will encourage the kids to be kids. We will be an energetic audience as the 7 year olds make up and put on a show for us. We’ll take them to the park and let them play basketball, explore the jungle gym and kick a ball around until they are tired and hungry. We’ll let them turn the music up loud and dance around. And, we’ll get the sheets out so they can make a great fort.

Whatever we end up doing, I know that we will get some more play into our lives.

  1. We’ll do it because it brings us closer together as friends and family.
  2. Because it ignites our curiosity and makes us more creative.
  3. Because we are healthier and happier when we play.
  4. Because it teaches us new skills and knowledge that prepares us for the next stages in life, whether that is 2nd grade, college or becoming an empty-nester.

I hope you all find a little extra time to play this summer.

About the Author

For over 20 years, Matt Brown has been leading high-performing teams to develop vibrant business cultures, invent and launch high-impact branded platforms, and turn around underperforming brands and businesses. Matt consults with Fortune 500 and early stage companies, usually working with the C-suite. He also co-founded a couple of companies including big BOING, an integrated strategy, innovation and development company that partnered with Kraft, Disney, Coca Cola, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Learning Curve and others to invent, design and launch (or completely overhaul) major domestic and international brands.