- to learn
- to create
- to feel challenged
- to pass time
- to calm and focus ourselves
- for the fun of it
- for the joy of it
If you need permission to play, I give it to you!
We can all get way too bogged down in our various life roles of work, parenting, caring and not spend enough time to nurture ourselves. So often when I meet people and tell them what I do I get the auto responder ‘ Oh I am not creative’ or ‘I am not clever’, or ‘I do not have time for that’. However, what I do requires very little genius, very little artistic talent, and very little time. (I could however do it for hours more each day!)
Creative play is one way we can nurture ourselves and is an essential part of our well being. Creative play offers us some very essential brain food, gives our emotional bucket a top up and enables us to do something that we can feel good about.
Let’s look at this a little more closely.
I recently held a girls night in. My guests were professional women. They teach, they lecture, they research. Their life is all academia when it is not family. Taking some time out for the girl’s night in these women all came with one really important thing. They were open to having a go at whatever I was about to put in front of them. They ended up fully engaged in creative play and had a lovely bit of time out for themselves.
Together we formed a little community – a gathering – of people with a common purpose.
What we did was make cards and chat, then make more cards. Since this had nothing to do with work or family responsibilities it was rejuvenating and fun. At the end the plans were made to gather again on a regular basis and repeat the processes of doing something mind blowingly simple, fun and creative.
They each produced a piece of artwork and that brings forth feelings of ‘look what I did’ that we lost somewhere back in our childhood. They copied from examples on the table and were able to add their own touch too.
For many people, the only time they do tactile activity is when they are doing their housework, or perhaps when they are cooking. In creative play we are stamping and cutting images, sticking down, and even colouring in. This is all hands on and everyone is engaged in the process.
Creative play inspirational in many ways. The flow of ideas begins as the possibilities are discovered and shared within the group doing the activity. Everyone has a different skill set and if the spirit of sharing is present it is not long before ideas flow like a river.
Some like it this way, some like it that, but everyone was making a card! Some have a disused stash of materials that can be used for card making at home already, others are just beginning and have made their first ever hand made card. You can bling it up, tone it down, try something new. That makes creative play with paper, stamp and ink versatile.
To be able to say ‘I did that’ or ‘I made this’ is awesome! We used to do it as children and I ask you to remember how exciting it was to discover we could do something and how we were open to showing others what we did! Now imagine feeling that excitement again. Yes! Feel it! It is possible to tap into those feelings and experience the joy and excitement your artwork once gave you as a child. This is the well being part of creative play therapy!
Creative play in the world of stamping and papercraft is also personal. You might make a thank you card, or create a scrapbook page of a favourite moment. You may even begin an artbook or journal. Either way you will be giving it your personal purpose and style.
Laughter is the best medicine and I am yet to come across anyone who would disagree with this maxim. Creative play brings laughter. It could simply be what you are chatting about and sharing, laughing at yourself, or even enjoying the company of someone who makes you laugh. Getting together to do something that takes you away from the everyday opens you to the possibility of the good medicine of fun and laughter.
How often do we browse magazines or spend time on Pinterest? Pinterest is a veritable gold mine of ideas you can replicate. But looking at eye candy is not going to bring about the good feelings. That is just desire. Doing is putting it into action. Stop just looking at Pinterest and start replicating those things that have inspired you by actually making them!
Creative play is all about you. What do you need, what would you like to make, who would you like to make it for? How will you benefit? If you engage in creative play you will lift your spirits and rest your brain from the hard stuff of day to day thinking.
Every time you turn on your creative button in your brain you will find yourself refreshed. It is enjoyable, fun, and you do not need to feel as if you are creative – you need to be creative which means getting the goodies and doing it! It is possible to learn a few basic skills, gather a few essential supplies and let loose with your creativity.
Next time you are invited to a gathering to make cards or create a scrapbook page, consider it as an opportunity to relax and tap into a piece of yourself that far too often is neglected. Check out workshop and gathering schedules in your area or even organise to host a gathering yourself. In the Sunraysia Region we have many play days. To get a schedule join my mailing list, check my Facebook events page, or join a gathering via my website. You can even host your own gathering, even if you do not live near me I can help you have an awesome event of playful fun! Your creative self will appreciate the effort!
Oh and have you tried to do the Acrostic type of journaling? Try this – write a word or phrase just as I did above. It could be your name, an aspect of your life you might desire, a feeling.
Write the letters of the word or phrase down in a vertical manner and think about words that help to define the idea for you. Then reflect on how that connects and resonates for you – write it down and slip it into your journal or your scrapbook if you have one.