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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St Olaf chapter.

This semester, I’m taking a class called Power Play. It’s a class in the dance department that emphasizes the importance of daily movement, imagination and releasing inhibition in people of all ages. In other words, it gets college students to “play” like they used to when they were three years old. The professor has introduced me to the art of play, laughter, and a focus on physicality in a world where we are so often “up in our heads.” Oftentimes, people neglect physical activity, fun and play because they have to sit down at a desk for hours and finish yet another assignment.  I’m guilty of this, which is why I am so appreciative of this class and its concepts.  In the first few weeks, we have been working with the different types of play. These can be found on The National Institue for Play website.  That’s right, there is loads of research and national support for the vitality of PLAY. Check it out! But also, I’m going to outline the different types of play below. Read through and see how many of these you already do, or some that you miss and would like to incorporate back into your daily life. The mental, physical, and social health benefits are immense! 

Attunement Play: This type of play grounds you. Play can be movement free, like yoga, meditation, or watching a sunset. It exercises your mind in a way that is unconventional and necessary.

Body Play and Movement: What can your body do? Jump, run, climb, walk, stretch. Utilize all of your body’s basic functions with movement in a variety of play environments. 

Object Play: This makes me think of puzzles, games, chalk, throwing a ball, anything that involves more ‘objects’ than just the human body and mind. 

Social Play: Find people! Interact with them! Use teamwork! Woo! 

Imaginative and Pretend Play, Storytelling-Narrative Play, Creative Play: I see these three categories as being very similar and connected. Let your mind wander in a childlike way.  Don’t censor your crazy ideas or thoughts. Let them control how you see and interact with the world around you!

EINSTEIN WOO , PLATO YEAH, Baby bears play too