"You never get too old to play. But you get old when you stop playing."– Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, LEGO Group
Play is universal. Play has taken place at all times, among all people, and is essential to keep on developing as human beings.
In a play session, we are focused on the moment; we do not think about the past or far into the future. When you are in a "play mood" you only have an eye for the play activities to continue as long as possible (Karoff and Johansen 2009).
When we play, we continuously develop the course of the play by taking turns giving inputs: "Shouldn't we say that ..." the children will ask. And in this way, they shape the play universe by getting inspired by each other's whims and fancies. The interaction creates an intense sense of community and sociality, which one of the important qualities of play.
Play and creativity are two sides of the same coin
Children primarily play to play, while adults play to be creative and develop new ideas. But only regarding play as the means of being creative and developing new products is an unfortunate mistake. Because play is so much more. Play can build strong relationships, support dialogue between people and help us to make sense of the world.
But as adults, we tend to disregard play. We forget our freedom and immediate curiosity – and are overshadowed by a fear of failure and a wish to act goal oriented. Just like children, adults need to feel safe to play. We must, therefore, be more aware of creating a safe environment for play and creativity, so adults feel motivated, open up and take chances.
We need to exercise our PLAY SKILLS
Today, play is more important than ever due to the increasing complexity of communities. Earlier, we were born into predetermined social societies. Now, we constantly need to create and develop them throughout our lives. Therefore, it is essential to keep active in our process of personal formation and train our ability to transcend our self.
"The play in childhood lay the foundation for the adult's creativity and potential to engage in the 21st-century job market. But we should not stop playing as children because we can develop throughout life," says Scott Kaufmann, director of the Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. We need to recognize play as a fundamental condition of life that deserves its own space – without being subject to other agendas.
At +PLAY, we believe that everyone will benefit from training creativity by staying open to other people's perspectives of the world. It increases the ability to navigate in an increasingly complex world. The framework for both family life and working life is characterized by rapid social development and requires continuous adaptability. We must remember to listen to our intuition, moods and instincts. To allow us to be guided by impulses – even if we have planned something else – and follow a spontaneous idea and see where it leads us. That is how we can remain playful, improvise and develop great ideas.