Do you remember playing as a child? Without work or obligations, you were free to wander around, use your imagination and indulge in things just for the sake of doing them. Play was relaxing and fun and brought joy to your days.
As adults, we have work, family obligations and other commitments. We become more serious and responsible. If we are not careful, we can become the grumpy old people we disdained when we were younger.
In that light, here are some things you probably haven’t done since childhood but might want to try again:
I loved banana popsicles as a child. I clearly remember my mother breaking apart the twin sticks and giving one each to my sister and me. When I saw banana popsicles in the grocery store recently, I had to buy a box.
I haven’t had one in many, many years. I took one taste – it was like summer on a stick! I discovered I still like them. While I won’t make these little treats a routine part of my ordinarily healthy diet, a little treat now and then is worthwhile.
Remember making homemade cards in school as a child? Every occasion, from May Day to Christmas was an occasion to break out the construction paper. The art of making a card was creative and satisfying and giving it to a loved one felt special.
A handmade card is still special. Get out your paints, or crayons, or scrapbooking materials and make a card. You will enjoy sending it and someone will enjoy receiving it. It is a win-win.
There is nothing I like doing more than reading. I remember being a child who liked to sneak away and read a book all day in the back yard under a tree or under the covers with a flashlight. It felt indulgent then, and it feels even more so today.
After all, we have chores. We need to get things done. We have a lot of excuses for not allowing ourselves to indulge in a favorite pastime. Isn’t it about time we allow ourselves uninterrupted time to indulge in our passion? If not now, when?
What child hasn’t lined up the stuffed animals or dolls and the occasional squirming younger sibling in order to have a tea party?
My grandmother had real tea parties, and as a child I loved to watch her with her friends enjoying tea, gossip and a homemade treat. Why not invite your friends over for a tea party? Get out the good china and make something special. You will be glad you did.
What is it about children and rocks? Most children like to pick up rocks, which, unlike sea shells, are available wherever you live. Children love to look at the colors and shapes and fill their pockets while taking a walk. Why not try picking up a few rocks yourself?
You can make it a game, looking for a pretty color or an interesting shape. It will cause you to live in the moment and pay attention to your surroundings. When you get them home, you can classify them if you’re interested or take a marker and write inspirational words or quotes on them.
Do you take time to sit quietly in nature and enjoy special attractions like fireflies or humming birds? Do you pay attention to the little toad that lives in your garden or the friendly chipmunk that climbs across your fence every morning?
If not, go outside and see what you can observe. The beauty in nature reminds us to slow down and be calm. It’s good for the blood pressure – and the soul!
When I was a child, I liked to make pretend fairy houses and fairy gardens. I don’t think I ever stopped believing that maybe a fairy would come.
As an adult, I bought a house that came with a little wooden storage shed. I imagined it was a fairy house and so that is what I turned it into. Now it delights children and adults.
Garden centers and hobby shops carry an array of fairy garden accoutrements – not unlike doll house furnishings. You can indulge your imagination and creativity and create something magical. If you have a child to share it with, it is all the better!
I remember first making collages in my elementary school art classes. I always loved the process of tearing pictures and words out of a magazine and artfully arranging them into a new design.
Today, vision boards have become popular. They are a type of collage except that you collect pictures or words symbolizing things you would like to do or become in the future.
No matter what type of media you use – magazine pictures like I do or your own art or fabric – collages are fun and a great way to express yourself.
As a child, you could indulge in junk food on a whim. If you were lucky enough to attend a baseball game, you probably ate hot dogs, super-sized pretzels and cotton candy. It was part of the experience. As adults, most of us are much more careful about what we eat.
That is not to say that we can’t try special food in special places. I discovered that a hot dog, which I had not tasted in many years, tasted wonderful. I found that the cotton candy, a favorite as a child, was far too sweet for me now. What will you discover?
I’ve never met a child who didn’t like to play in the sand. They don’t mind getting their hands or feet dirty. Children will make castles or make roads and tunnels to fill with buckets of water. If you are lucky enough to be able to go to a beach, why not indulge in the sand?
Make a castle or just walk barefoot along the beach. Write a message in the sand and send a picture of it to someone, or just leave it for someone else to find. Nothing will make you feel like a child more than a little time playing in the sand.
None of these activities is extremely time consuming and all of them can be done for free or very inexpensively. Give yourself permission to be a little playful and silly. Have fun, relax, and enjoy the moment. It is a great way to relive your favorite childhood activities and release a little stress at the same time.
What childish passion have you indulged in as an adult? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below.