By Jamie Jensen
Sixty Rye residents — parents, grandparents, community leaders, teachers, spouses, and neighbors — gathered at Rye Recreation February 1. Not sure what they would discover at the Pause To Play workshop, these brave souls handed themselves over to the Healing Arts Collective, a group of 15 professional women, for an evening of self-reflection, play, laughter, and learning.
It wasn’t long before most everyone got into the flow. Participants shared their favorite memories from childhood. Then they jumped rope and played hopscotch, pick up sticks, Jenga, and Bananagrams. They doodled, made play dough spaghetti, and built towers with blocks and Lego bricks. And they pretended to be helicopters and other inanimate objects with help from improv leader Em Meulbroek.
Rachel Gober, clinical psychologist and local mother, closed the evening with a slide show making the case that play is important for grown-ups, too. The mental and physical benefits are undeniable and the message was clear. Quoting from Stuart Brown’s book, the inspiration for the evening, “Play is a basic human need as essential to our well-being as sleep, so when we’re low on play, our minds and bodies notice.”
The Healing Arts Collective plans to spend 2018 encouraging local businesses and civic organizations to encourage more play as part of their “healing” message.
Anticipating a whole lot of fun.
Healing Arts members invite grown-ups to share their play memories.
Community members gather in the “purple” room for creative play.
Remember how much fun doodling was?
A round of giant Jenga was just the thing.
Some folks were timid and others jumped right in.