Quite a few parents have asked me, “What qualifies as play?” as if there were one answer. One dictionary defines the word playful as:
“high spirits, gaiety, and humor in action or speech.”
Hmmm. Fun is a key element!
Do you have fun with your children? Do they have fun with you? And how do you do that?
Let’s look at one bunch of intriguing synonyms for play:
“. . . cut up, be the life of the party, play the fool, carry on.”
Playing the fool may be tough for you if you struggle with spontaneity. Yet it can be learned, and I believe it is worth learning. You don’t have to truly be a fool, but you can be willing to look a little silly on occasion in order to connect with others in a fun way. Silliness comes easier if you start with babies. Merely sticking a shoe on your head makes a baby laugh, because he’s learned just enough about the way the world works to know that sneakers make ridiculous hats.
One evening when my son Tyler was six months old, he was trying desperately hard to crawl, but just couldn’t get it. Instead, he flopped about like a fish out of water…