Previously we’ve talked about play to improve your life’s creativity and productivity. Now, to understand more about this ‘play’, you have to understand your type.
We each have our own “play personality”, as discovered in research by Dr Stuart Brown of The National Institute for Play and explored on page 36. According to Stuart’s theory, these personalities are split into different archetypes and it is here that we can discover the sort of playful activities that would best suit our personality.
If you think back to the games and activities you enjoyed most when you were a child, this is where you will find the thread that links you to your play archetype and the ways to bring it into your adult life.
Here’s are the different types of play personalities:
You are the “class clown” who enjoy the nonsensical play. During your childhood, you liked to have goofy talk and behaviour, silly faces, jokes and practical jokes.
As an adult, you could try stand-up comedy or improv classes; spend time with your friends in social interactions where you can feel safe to be silly and free.
You are physically active. Sometimes you need to use and move their bodies constantly. As a child, you liked to play games that involve running, jumping, skipping, swimming, dance, climbing — anything that requires physical activity.
Now, you could join a run club, sign up for dance classes or yoga, go rock climbing or climb trees.
You adore new experiences (physical, relational, emotional or mental). When you’re young you like to go to new places. You also enjoy tasting different foods, listening to music and seeing art. Basically, you were fascinated with anything out of the normal experience.
If you are an explorer, then you can try to see galleries in your area, travel, listen to new music, read books, go on spontaneous
As a competitor, you will flourish with competition and you always strive to win. You like to do sports, board games and/or creating things for a prize.
You could join your local football or volleyball club, get the old Monopoly board out or see what competitions are available in your local area, eg film festivals, baking competitions.
You often find yourself organising, leading and running the show. As a child, you enjoyed playing “school” and always being the teacher, making up and directing dance shows, planning sports events or just the social outings with your little buddies.
To rediscover that inner child of yours, try to sign up to coach sporting games, plan events for your friends and family, create and plan meet-ups for people with similar interests as you.
Whether they are experiences or material possessions, you love to manage and design their collections. Be it coin or stamp collections, beanie kid collections or football cards, collecting, organising and surrounding yourself with your special pieces was bliss as a child.
Try to collect gadgets you find interesting, records or instruments, or “experiences” that bring you joy.
You are the maker of things and/or the teller of stories and always led by imagination. When you were a child, you loved art class, cooking with parents, performing on stage, reading and writing stories. Anything that used your imagination and hands to create something special.
You could embrace your creator side by trying to bake all the recipes in your favourite cookbook or make your own! Take up pottery or art classes, join an amateur theatre group, write the novel brewing in your heart.