The benefits of play are endless! Here are just a few of my own personal experiences:

1. Play gives people a chance to connect on a personal level. 

While playing Kismet with my dad’s two sisters, I learned a hilarious story about my dad’s senior sneak day. This softened the memory of my dad as always walking the straight and narrow. Sometimes he was a rebel with a cause!

2. Play gives kids a pathway to get over hurdles in learning. 

Kids may take on distasteful tasks that they have been avoiding (practicing math or spelling) if it is presented as play. Those Yahtzee games were not just about having fun. I was having some serious issues with learning my multiplication tables and the nightly flash cards were not getting the job done. However, I would beg to play a game with whoever walked in the door even if it meant I was going to do some math.

3. Play allows us to monitor kids’ growth.

Play allows us to demonstrate our skill and you can see growthI remember the first time I beat my mom at checkers. I think she was as surprised as I was, but then I saw her pride in my accomplishment.When you see your child take a big step forward your heart takes an extra beat of happiness and satisfaction.

4. Play brings us joy.  When we feel joy we shine inside and out. 

How many memories do you have of your family and friends playing together? What do you feel when you think about them? I still remember the marathon card games my college roommates and I played (yes, occasionally skipping class.) So much laughter and so much joy in that room.

 

This month, plan to spend 30 minutes or so each week just playing together as a family and begin creating your own legacy. Let play do its job generating great stories and special moments for your family.