This week, we got to attend a toy show. What is a toy show? It is a place where toy vendors display their goods for buyers, toy store owners. They display and show off their new products, newly imagined offerings and in some cases inventions for play time. It is super fun! We spend 2 to 3 days playing with lots of cool stuff and trying out new board games. We've made some great friends with other like-minded silly folks.
Play time is essential for kids, which is one reason we have a Toy Store - to promote healthy imaginations, fun and games. But, play time is also essential for adults. It helps with stress and is a great connector to other people. It enhances learning and improves productivity.
This year we got to take Riley and Rachel, our teens. Usually kids are not allowed, but they recently let older kids go. We consider our kids to be our expert advisers in the toy industry, so we were super excited to have them along and they felt important to be along with their name badges as buyers.
I asked them what they thought about the toy show. Both exclaimed they had a great time and that it was a lot of fun.
This was Riley's comment about the toy show:
"It was great, all the adults were playing with the toys and games and having fun and being creative. There was so much creativity, people laughing, having fun and sharing with each other."
I guess outside of our life, he doesn't see adults playing and having fun.
Hmmmm, got me thinking. Perhaps the adults of the world need to let go and play and laugh and have fun with each other. As a kid I remember my parents getting together with other parents and playing games. The world was happier then, is that why? World peace through laughter, fun and games. Don't be so serious.
I should point out; this wasn't about video games, no video games there at the toy show.
My daughter Angela has been going to toy shows with or for us. She finds them so fun. In fact she just went to the New York Toy show to work at a booth for free, just to be able to go because it is fun. The last toy show we were at with her, she started a snow ball fight with many vendors in the aisles.
This year's shenanigans involved an air swimming shark, an air rocket, a wooden bow and arrow and a sewing needle. Rachel our daughter was asked to shoot down the air swimming shark. She knocked off a fin sending it to the ceiling. So we loaded an air rocket with a sewing needle and blasted away getting the shark down with one shot. Everyone had a good time.
Check out the video:
We learned a new game called Happy Salmon, a fast paced game involving lots of high 5's, pounding it and trading places.
One of the many hot items are toys that people can fidget with. Studies show certain people actually can focus better and do better on tests when they can fidget. As a youth I doodled while talking and often chewed on pencils. One of our kids turned to origami, folding complex designs while listening to lectures. Rocks, thinking putty, fabrics, knobs and small toys are favorites.
While we are on the topic of improving test scores, recess is so important for kids and outside play does do much for kids. Restricting recess should never be used as punishment, it doesn't work.
A Texas school quadrupled their play time and has seen amazing results in focus and behavior issues. Schools are even using meditation with fantastic results.
The simple truth is we ALL need play time. For children it is essential to developing normally and developing the brain. Kids that are encouraged to pretend and use their imaginations are healthier and more creative as adults. Play time helps connect the family and bonds form.
Make sure your kids have time to play - creative, unstructured time to play. And spend time playing with your kids every day. If you don't have kids, get together with other adults or help a busy family out but borrowing the kids. Even time playing with a pet is valuable.
The benefits of playing are real and can affect people in positive ways. Think about the benefits: reduced stress, improved health, learning improvement, problem solving skills enhanced, improved productivity, improved relationships, cooperation, emotional healing, and helps you feel young. If everyone had regular playtime it seems logical to me that we'd create more peace in our world with a bunch of people reaping the benefits of play time. Basically more play time reduces "feistyness" of people.
How do you get your play time in? What are your favorite games?