Big Kids and Adults Need Play Too

Multiple big kids giving piggyback rides to friends. They are laughing and running on a beach with the waves gently hitting their feet.
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In today’s episode, I talk to Jeff Harry, of Rediscover Your Play and self-described play whisperer. Jeff helps people rediscover who they are and helps create psychologically safe spaces through play. He joins us today to discuss what play means to him, how play benefits everyone and why big kids and adults need play.

Jeff starts off by telling us his origin story. When he was a kid, he saw the movie Big and began writing to toy companies in third grade. For Jeff, his dream came true, but it wasn’t what he wished for – it was just adults sitting around tables. He left that career and found an ad online asking for help teaching kids engineering through Lego and made it happen. Their reputation grew and they became the first Lego-based STIM group. They even started doing team-building exercises in Silicon Valley.

When Jeff talks about play, he defines it as any joyful act where you forget about time. It’s something that adults often lose eventually. We don’t embrace the feeling of failure and experimentation, which is a huge part of play. As Jeff says, play is the opposite of perfection, which is rooted in shame. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that no one knows what they are doing, so why not embrace the joyful moments and work to make more of them?

In the post-pandemic world, Jeff hopes we can stop overscheduling our kids. Let them be kids and stop trying to make them be the best. If they are in sports, ask them if they are actually enjoying the experience. If they aren’t, let them choose to do what they enjoy. Let your kids have experiences and learning over getting perfect grades. Tell them they don’t have to be perfect to be deserving of love.

Find out more about Jeff:

https://www.rediscoverplay.com

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