“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We all have great memories of childhood playtime. Organized play, like sports, and unorganized play with neighborhood kids that we engaged in as children helped make us who we are today in more ways than you may think. As adults, we can still realize great health benefits from simple play. We’ve put together some of our favorite reasons why you and your kids should spend more time at play. And, of course, we can’t think of a better place for you to do that than at Rebounderz Trampoline Arena in Newport News.
“Play is the exultation of the possible.”
– Martin Buber
Adults Need to Find Time For Play
Our lives are more hectic than ever. We work a lot. We spend a lot of time in the car. We’re volunteering to help others and taking care of our families. Generally, we are all tasked with more responsibility than we can always handle. Making time to play can help us deal with these unavoidable daily stresses much better. It can make us happier, make us feel more relaxed, bring us back into the present moment, and release us from our worries for at least a little while.
“We are never more fully alive, more completely
ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.”
– Charles Schaefer
Active play activates the four neurotransmitters responsible for making us feel our best. Endorphins help us deal with anxiety. They give us a second win when we need one. And, it turns out, that laughter is one of the most effective ways to release more endorphins. So, come to Rebounderz to jump, laugh, and play your way to happiness.
- Oxytocin, released when we feel better, like when we are playing, helps strengthen relationships. It is often called the “trust hormone” because it helps us connect to and trust each other. Bring the whole family to run the Ninja Warrior course and build some new bonds.
- Serotonin fights feelings of loneliness and melancholy. Your body releases serotonin when you remember the good times you’ve had. So, when you spend time playing, and then reflect on the fun you had and the closeness you felt with your family, you’ll be flooded with good feelings.
- Dopamine is the great motivator, helping us push through procrastination and meet our goals. Dopamine is released when we feel rewarded and appreciated. So, go out and play with your kids. The big smiles, hugs, and all the laughter are great ways to feel rewarded as a parent.
Being playful can make us feel like kids again. It keeps us energized and helps us be more creative. It helps lift the fog of an unfocused mind and relieves the stress of just being a grownup every day.
The take-away from all of this is that, for adults, play can help strengthen relationships, make us emotionally, mentally and physically stronger, and ultimately make us happier.
Given all of this, we think a better question than, “Why should adults play,” is, “why shouldn’t they?”
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”
– O. Fred Donaldson
Play is Not Optional
Play comes naturally to children. It is their way of learning about their world, developing new skills and growing into happy, healthy adults. There’s a lot more to it than that, though. If you think most play time is a luxury, we encourage you to rethink your perspective. Play is not optional. It helps children develop creativity and builds cognitive capacity. It literally helps new neurons connect in their growing brains!
Play helps children develop social skills. Have you ever noticed how much your toddler looks forward to going to the park? That probably has a lot to do with the social interactions they have with other children. The playground, trampoline arena, or dodgeball court is a complex, little social structure where children experiment with social norms and learn life lessons. Play also helps children build self-esteem because it often requires them to solve complex problems and maneuver through new, unstructured environments.
Cooperation and Teamwork
There’s a reason the phrase, “play nicely,” sounds so familiar. It is what we are learning to do when we’re playing. Play breaks down barriers and helps children learn to work together. They can learn empathy through play, which helps them to behave more kindly to their peers.
“If you want to be creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society.”
– Jean Piaget
Improved Attention Spans
We talked earlier about the importance of dopamine to help adults stay focused and complete tasks. It is even more important for children. If your child has trouble paying attention to tasks at school or at home, try taking a break for some play time before returning to the task at hand.
We all know that it is important to stay active. Whether you are eight or 80, you’ll benefit from the physical activity that play provides. From the day we’re born to our last day, play helps us build stronger muscles, improves how our lungs and heart function, keeps our bones strong, staves off diseases, like type II diabetes, and just makes us feel good.
Let’s not underestimate the importance of fun. If you don’t buy into any of the other reasons to play, do it just for the fun of it.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Come and play at Rebounderz in Newport News. We’ve got activities to entice even the most reluctant, unplayful among you, including our Ninja Warrior course, dodgeball court, basketball slam station, foam pit, and open jump arena. And, don’t forget the JumpXTREME tower, where you can test your fear of heights! We look forward to seeing you.