Adult Play Days

The reason to have adult play days is for us as adults to have a great time, to remember the natural curiosity and zest of childhood, and to work on the feelings that have surfaced when we’ve played with young people. Play days give us additional ways to discharge the distresses that came in on us when we were young, which helps us have more attention for young people.

Here are some things you could do at an adult play day:

  1. People could start with mini-sessions on someone who played with them or paid good attention to them when they were young.
  2. You could give a short talk on the natural zestfulness of humans and how adults stopped us from playing, or decided how we should play, when we were young. You could say how competition was introduced from the outside and how cooperation and challenging ourselves are what is natural to us. You could do a demonstration on a client’s earliest good or bad memories about play.
  3. Everyone could do two-way or three-way sessions.
  4. You could explain special time and have people do it with each other—even if each person gets only fifteen minutes. The special time could happen in several ways: in pairs, with each person getting a turn; in three-ways, in which one person gets special time, one person is that person’s counselor, and the third person supports the counselor; or in pairs in which after a person gets special time, they become the counselor for a person other than their counselor. If there is time, people could do a mini-session before doing special time, to decide how they would like to use their turn.
  5. You could have a class in which you talk about humans’ natural curiosity and ability to learn and help people discharge on where they stopped trying things that seemed difficult. The elders’ commitment is a good one to introduce: “I promise that I will never die, that I will never slow down, and that I will have more fun than ever.”
  6. You could ask people what they would like to teach or learn and then have them do that in groups of at least three. If there is enough time, you could have a second round in which the people who were the teachers could be the learners. (You might want to ask people before they come to the workshop if they would like to teach something and suggest that they bring any materials they need.) Examples of things people have taught include drawing, football, basketball, a musical instrument, public speaking, climbing, and poetry.
  7. You could have some all-group games. (A small group could come up with [think of] these.)
  8. If there are people at the workshop who have had some training in physical counseling, you could have a short class on physical counseling and give people a chance to try it.
  9. You could end with some session time and farewells.

Here is a possible schedule:

9:00  Introductions and a class on play

10:30  Setting up and doing special time

12:00  Lunch

12:45  A teaching-and-learning class, and practice

2:00  Group games

2:30  A physical counseling class, and practice

3:30  Sessions

4:30  Farewells

Chuck Esser

International Commonality
Reference Person for Family Work

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion
list for leaders of family work


Last modified: 2019-05-21 23:33:41+00