5 Ways to Play Like a Kid as An Adult

Do you remember how easy it was to lose track of time in the playground when you were a kid? Most of us were very good at play when we were children, but it’s often the first thing we de-prioritize as adults because it isn’t a “grown up” activity. While we previously talked about how adults often view play as a waste of time, research suggests otherwise. For example, adults who engage in playful activities are less stressed than their counterparts. It’s no wonder companies like Google make an effort to provide their employees with daily opportunities to play interactive and collaborative games on their sprawling campus. They, along with many other companies, recognize how play can result in more creative and happy employees.

Even when you’re armed with this knowledge, however,, it can be hard to get back in touch with play as an adult. It might even feel awkward at first and you may get impatient with yourself, but think about the potential pay off of a less stressful, happier life.

Here are five ways to start playing like a kid as an adult:

Crack open that adult coloring book

More than just another trendy coffee table book, coloring books are an easy way to play – especially with all the fun options available to adults these days. Grab some colored pencils and play with different colors and patterns – just don’t worry too much about coloring outside the lines!

Wander: Go for a bike ride without a destination in mind

As adults, we tend to want to do things with clear outcomes and a purpose. Why not let that go for an hour and embrace your inner wanderer? Go for a walk or bike ride without a destination in mind. You might even discover some hidden gems around your neighborhood that you’ve been too busy to pay attention to. Enjoy your surroundings and go as fast or slow as you like.

Try a new-to-you creative activity

Let this really sink in: You don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it. Since we’re constantly trying to improve our skills as we grow, it’s natural for us to embrace learning new skills if they move our careers forward, but it’s not as common to embrace trying something new just for the sake of it. But if you’re not being competitive, there’s nothing to lose! Try baking a new recipe, go to that pottery class you’ve always been curious about or whatever else peaks your interest.

Get your hands dirty

Kids don’t really worry about getting dirty and they just might be onto something. Taking time in nature without worrying about getting a little dirt on you can be incredibly freeing. Digging into a garden with your bare hands can help you feel grounded. And it’s all from playing in the dirt! Plus, soaking up that vitamin D can do wonders to boost your mood.

Dust off that board game stack with a friend

Why save board games only for the occasional game night? Games stimulate your mind and are a great excuse to get friends together for some belly laughs. Keep things playful and try not to worry too much about competing. There are also plenty of games that can be played solo, so dive into something that looks fun enough to lose track of time for a while.

There are lots of ways to play as an adult and half the fun is taking the time to discover what brings you joy. One unexpected benefit of play: it can help you connect with yourself and others on a deeper level. Plato once said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than an hour of conversation.” Play can be the key to unlocking hidden talents or what makes you tick. And the best part? You get to have fun while doing it.

What are some of your favorite ways to play like a kid as an adult?