Make Life Fun: Channel Your Inner Child

The National Institute for Play is serious about fun, looking at all the different types of play we use to experience our world--e.g. movement play, creative play, social play, imaginative play and so on. The research shows that play has a pivotal role in brain development, and this doesn’t just stop when we grow up. 

The term inner child aptly describes the part of us that wants to continue exploring the world through play. It’s the part of us that is adventurous, carefree, and fun. Yet this part usually gets buried under the pressures of our modern, grown up world. 

What does being a playful adult even look like? 

Charlie Todd, creator of Improv Everywhere, is an inner child guru, bringing playfulness and hilarity to New York city, and the world. From a yearly no-pants-on-the-subway prank to a guy named Rob high-fiving thousands of gloomy commuters, every project is an ode to the child within us all and serves to spark joy and connection.

While you may not be up for public playfulness like this, here are some ways to reconnect with your own inner child:

Pursue your hobbies. Did you love dancing as a child? Adult dance classes are a thing, too! Into making things with your hands? Take workshops at local art stores or even at Bunnings. Join communities that are doing fun things just because they can. 

Make things on paper. Remember when sheets of paper were more for colours and shapes than black text? Those were the days! And there’s no shame in bringing them back. Don’t worry about if you’re “good at drawing.” If you’re inclined, just buy yourself a little notepad and a few coloured pencils and doodle in your spare time. It’s just so happens to be a good way to mentally unwind. 

Play like a child. If you have kids, you’re a step ahead! Make time to dress up, role play, or throw some food in the kitchen. Offer to babysit for a friend and remember what it’s like to be young again. 

Do something spontaneous. Pick your partner up at work for a surprise dinner. Buy an interstate plane ticket on the cheap and book an air BnB for a night or two. Got a day with nothing to do? Get in the car and drive a couple hours out of town for a hike in nature. 

Be active. You would be hard pressed to get a child to sit still. But somehow we get older and do just that for most of our days. So do something fun and active. Get outdoors. Race around go-karting. Shoot paint balls. Try indoor rock climbing. Play in the pool, the sand, or heck, even the puddles.

Sing and dance. Go to a karaoke bar or rent a machine and invite some friends over. Turn it up and embrace the silly cacophony of sounds that will undoubtedly follow!

Enjoy living in your body and your life. Do things your younger self would have loved and make your inner child proud!