The capacity to be playful is as key in the development of children as in adults. Being playful is not just about being light-hearted, avoiding difficult feelings and looking for fun. It is about the ability to interpret, to problem- solve and to find meaning in experiences. Playfulness makes an individual more likely to engage in a situation or environment.
The Key Research Findings highlight the value of cultural learning to develop a capacity to play for children (2017, Cultural Learning Alliance)
- Taking part in arts activities can increase cognitive ability by 17%
- Learning through arts and culture can help children achieve in Maths and English
- Learning through arts and culture develops skills and behaviour that lead children to do better in school
- Students who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree
- The employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment
- Students who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer
- Students who engage in the arts at school are 20% more likely to vote as young adults
- The arts can help young people to turn their lives around: young offenders who take part in arts activities are 18% less likely to re-offend
- Children who take part in arts activities at home during their early years are ahead in reading and Maths at age nine
- Who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to report good health
I wonder how playfulness in adults overlaps in many ways with those for children, including being creative , using humor to think of things that happen to us, motivation to get things done, being able to develop positive affect. I believe that coming to psychotherapy and counselling can develop adults’ capacity to being playful and reduce their stress.
PGDip (MBACP), MBA
Counsellor & Psychotherapist