Play in Nature

We don't often play as adults. It's seen as something children do yet when we see an adult being playful it makes us laugh. It's actually joyful to see another person being silly and having fun. There is something about playing that brings out our life-essence.

Nature is the perfect catalyst for play. There are so many random things we encounter in nature and all it takes is a little creativity and imagination to bring out the playful side of you. Let's look at a few different ways we can play in nature.

Sit back and relax. Find a nice spot in the grass or take a blanket outside and lay down on a cloudy day. Cloud watching is a great leisurely activity anyone can do with creative play. What shapes do you see? If the clouds aren't super interesting simply watch for patterns. Watching clouds can bring you a few minutes of peace and quiet and will clear your mind for the rest of your days activities like a mini meditation.

If you are walking in the woods see how many different textures you can feel. Our sense of touch is often underutilized in nature. Nature is not something just to look at! Lets engage our sense of touch as well. Children don't see nature as hands off, they interact with it on every level. Touch the moss, collect some leaves, touch bark and grasses and seed pods. Sensory experiences are a great way to play in nature. How else can you fully engage your senses?

Make a mandala. This is a really fun way to play in nature and one of my favorites as a lover of pattern and texture and color. Collect a good amount of leaves of different sizes and colors and create a balanced composition starting from the center. Simply place the leaves around in a circle as you wish. Rearrange them until you find a pattern that soothes your eyes. It's beautiful and fun and you can do this activity just about anywhere because your creations will not be permanent. Create as many as you wish anywhere you like.

Did you notice anything in common with all these activities? None of them harms the environment yet allows us to interact with it in a new way. You also don't need anything but your self for these activities which means they are free to anyone anywhere. We become better observers, more appreciative of it's beauty and more joyful. Let's get outside and play more.