30 Playdates

Quick story, then I’ll get to the list.

One time when I was younger (I can’t remember how old, but definitely old enough to know better), I decided to play tag with my eyes closed. (???????) Not surprisingly, I ran into a tree. A tree! I had bark imprints on my face for a month. Just kidding. This isn’t a sitcom, here. The swelling probably went down in a matter of hours or days.

What I’m trying to say is that I injured myself playing tag. That would never happen today…because I don’t play tag anymore!

Is that where you thought this story was going? Right. Me too.

Now I’m a grown up with grown up tasks and grown up spatulas and a grown up Amazon wish list. I learned some new Excel formulas the other day and if interviewed, I would have described the feeling as “euphoric.” You see, I have have accidentally adulted.

I am an illustrator. I would describe my work as playful, silly and optimistic. On the other side of the screen, one might assume that I’m a spontaneous goofball. Deep down I am. Even though I have the deep desire to nurture my 10-year-old self, I still have to make an effort to play. I’m a child stuck in a grown up’s child-size body. (I’m very small.)

In a similar effort to a Whole30 or 30 Days of Yoga program, I am starting 30 Playdates on September 1. I created a list of 30 playful prompts that are accessible to anyone and everyone. They’re easy! This is going to happen over at Chipper Things (you can follow along via Instagram or thenewsletter). I hope it encourages my inner child to come out and play, and I hope it also rejuvenates that spirit in you.

Please join me. There are no rules, just prompts. I’m going to use the #30PlayDates hashtag because…I want to, but you don’t have to if you don’t want (that is one good thing about being a grown up). The important thing is to make space for play. Here we go!

Supplies: crayons, play dough, sidewalk chalk, legos

  1. Go outside and do some cartwheels
  2. Write a thank you note to someone you don’t know (e.g. mailman)
  3. Post a photo of yourself as a kid
  4. Make a picture with your food
  5. Dance like no one is watching (…better yet, record it)
  6. Swing on a swing set
  7. Scribble and make it into a picture
  8. Listen to music you liked in 5th grade
  9. Write a note to someone using crayons
  10. Sculpt a self-portrait out of play dough
  11. Ask your parents what you were like as a kid
  12. Run down the street just because
  13. Draw a portrait of someone you love with your left hand
  14. Schedule a karaoke night (and think about your songs…)
  15. Leave a nice note/picture on a stranger’s windshield
  16. Draw a tattoo on yourself or a friend
  17. Recreate a photo of yourself when you were a child
  18. Eat a summer snack from when you were young
  20. Lipsyc song. Text to friend.
  21. Play with sidewalk chalk
  22. Take something apart and put it back together a new way
  23. Sing in the shower
  24. Leave anonymous Post Its in a public restroom
  25. Build a fort
  26. Make popsicles
  27. Get your hands dirty
  28. Watch YouTube “Best clips” of your favorite shows as a kid (or just watch the show)
  29. Read something fun and effortless on your lunch break
  30. Play pretend

Alternative ideas: Play in the rain, jump in puddles, play sports!, stomp in leaves, create secret handshake with a friend.