Child-led imaginative play reflects real life, it teaches everything from social skills to numeracy, dexterity to emotional and physical balance. Climbing, running, dancing; in this movement, a healthy sense of freedom and of moving towards one’s goals is experienced. The older we get, the less we play.
If you struggle to fit play into your day, choose one of our 50 Daily Mission Cards to nurture your inner child.
The benefits of play
The importance of play should never be underestimated not only in terms of its critical role in child development but also the benefits it provides adults who reconnect with the experience of play.
Play is an opportunity for uninhibited creativity and imagination as well as freedom from organised and structured activities. It is here that new ideas emerge and new connections are made between those who throw themselves into an environment without hierarchy or judgement. A chance for adults to “take off their armour”.
Often regarded as an unaffordable ‘luxury’ in a world where free time is continually squeezed with constrained education curriculum and increased work commitments. Online distractions also have damaged spontaneous play and play in the physical presence of others. As the author, Shelly Turkle commented: “we expect more from technology and less from each other”.
Play is at the forefront of influencing interventions to improve health and well-being. Just remember we are never ‘just playing’.
- Play is where our subconscious naturally guides us.
- Play is the state where we are truly ourselves, once we let go of our egos and fear of looking stupid.
- Play immerses us in the moment, where we effortlessly slip into flow.
- Play allows us to imagine, to create, to bond with and understand each other.
- Play is what creates our most influential social circles.
- Play gets you around other humans, face-to-face, and allows you to form a real connection with them.
- And most importantly, play utterly destroys anxiety.
What’s inside the deck
The deck holds seven different types of play which all represent a different colour of the rainbow. Each colour is made up of seven missions making a total of 49 missions in the deck. The 50th card is the special rainbow magic card which can be completed as the last card in the deck or however you choose to use the missions.
The cards are designed to offer ideas and activities to encourage those who use them to take a daily dose of play into their lives! They aim to act as a catalyst for activity – not to be the only way to play but ones that will guide and help shape time with family, friends, work colleagues and of course your inner child!
Different ways to use the cards
- Pick a mission card in the morning to set an intention for the day.
- Pick a mission card on a Sunday to establish a plan to complete this for the week.
- Pick a mission card on the first day of the month to set an intention for the month.
- Pick a mission card when you’re feeling stuck, seeing what happens when you infuse more of that quality creative play and human connection into your day.
- Pick a mission when you’re struggling with another person to explore what play qualities might bring more ease into your relationship.
- Pick a mission card to use with a partner or group — like a book club, but a mission club; connect daily or weekly or monthly and share your creative play experiences.
We have also created the rainbow magic challenge that is included in your pack. Each time a player completes a mission, the mission is removed from their challenge card. On completion of all 49 coloured creative play missions, their challenges are rewarded with the pot of gold – Rainbow Mission Card.
About the Creators
Dale Sidebottom has been referred to as the energiser bunny of the presenting world. With his love of play, fun fitness, energy and passion for getting people moving, Dale is the creator of Jugar Life, Energetic Education, Fitness Games Zone, 30 plus mobile movement apps as well as the top rating podcast Energetic Radio. Dale has created a unique blend of fun, play, teamwork, wellness and movement into his keynotes, seminars and conferences which he has presented in over 20 countries around the world.
Richard Cheetham MBE is Senior Fellow in Sports Coaching at the University of Winchester following three years spent teaching and coaching in New Zealand. Richard has developed a strong reputation in creative thinking and innovation within coach education and development. A particular area of research, publications and applied practice in teaching and coaching is the role and importance of play. It has shaped coach education programmes and approaches to learning. If we can learn to play again, we can become better coaches and reconnect with the experience and the value it has for all of us. As a result of this, he received the 2014 Vice Chancellors award for Community Engagement in recognition of this work and in 2018 was awarded UK Coach Developer of the year.
As mentioned above, both Dale and Richard travel the globe running workshops, seminars and keynotes around the benefits of play and the power it can have in schools, workplaces and in everyday life. If you would like to discuss the possibilities of a workshop in the future, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org