As adults, we can make playing around sophisticated. Just because you weren't the class clown doesn't mean you are doomed to be the party pooper - play comes in a variety of personalities.

by Pete Ferguson

Yesterday I discussed why active play is important for keeping your brain energized, unlike the Sea Squirt who devours its brain by surrendering to a passive life.

Constant exploration and fun is not necessarily "wasting" time. Play stimulates our brain, inspires creative thought, and creates a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

So what is your play personality? You may have one that you gravitate to more than others, but hopefully you have a combination of several.

In Stuart Brown's book Play, his research helped define the following categorizations of play:

  • The Joker - Always revolving around some kind of "nonsense,"we likely all began life as a Joker. Baby talk and laughing babies make little to no sense, but help develop communication skills. If you were the class clown or remember who was, much of what a class clown does has little other purpose but to make others laugh. I can remember little about third grade, but I remember Phillip well and how he always was quick with a joke - verbal or practical.
  • The Kinesthete - If you need to move to think, this category applies to you. Athletes, dancers, and hand talkers all play through movement. After watching the often bratty and overly serious Summer Olympic gymnasts, however, not all movement looks like playing! If like me you have to be moving to have fun, remember to keep it light.

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