The most recent issue of The American Journal of Play (Vol. 3, Number 3, Winter 2011) has a couple of articles about the value of play to adults. The first is an interview with Ruth Codier Resch, a psychoanalyst who suffered a stroke that robbed her of her ability to speak. Ruth regained her ability to speak, went back to work, and developed a whole new outlook on life through her rehabilitation using play. This illustrates how remarkably changeable the brain can be and how play can lead the way in making this change. Play, effectively, helped her brain develop new pathways to express herself and opened her up to understand how the non-verbal side of the brain communicates.
Playing with Ideas: The Affective Dynamics of Creative Play by Pat Power, explores the value of play in adulthood by studying the neurology, emotion and cognition of play. The author suggest eight essential qualities of play: lighthearted, humorous, imaginative, open-minded, transformative, enigmatic, interactive, and dynamic. She concludes that play enhances our sense of quality of life and therefore “positively confers a plethora of long-term health benefits including a tendency to live a longer and happier life”.
Playing in the Mud – A great article on a great website, about the joys and value of playing in the mud. Did you know it can even help your immune system?