May 2022

8 play ideas for family wellbeing

Play is how children thrive – and it’s good for grown ups, too. Here’s why it’s so important to find playful moments in the everyday, with eight great ideas for getting started.

The LEGO Foundation

Families that play together, thrive together

Whenever we ask families, they tell us that the more they get to play, the better they feel. And that goes just as much for the grown ups as the little ones.  

For our latest LEGO Play Well Study we surveyed more than 57,000 people (parents with children aged 1-12 and children aged 5-12) from 35 countries. Almost every parent (95%) told us play helped them communicate better with their children, made their family happier, and built stronger bonds between them. And around 9 in 10 (92%) said play boosted their own well-being as well as their children’s.

Best of all, the effects last a long time. Children who have strong relationships with the adults in their lives tend to grow up happier, healthier, and more contented. They even feel the difference as they grow: 95% of the children we spoke to said play helped them learn, de-stress outside school, and gain confidence to try new things.


It’s easier than you think to fit more play in your day

We know families want to play more: a third of parents and 84% of children said so. The good news is, you don’t have to drop everything to race cars around the living room for hours (though don’t let us stop you!). Here are some activities that can take as little as 15 minutes, but can transform your day with play.

You don’t have to actually be a father to tell some deeply silly jokes. Just channel the spirit of the goofiest dad you know and crack out the classics.

This one might take a little bit of patience from all the family – but there’s nothing wrong with boredom in moderation. Try to make sure props like screens aren’t an option, and gently nudge children to use their imaginations: “I wonder what it would be like to go camping indoors…”. Then enjoy being wowed by what they come up with: maybe you’ll get to play a new game they’ve invented, or be in the audience of their latest theatrical production.

One old sock + a couple of buttons or stickers = a whole world of storytelling fun. Pay attention to the scenarios your little one comes up with, too. Make-believe often gives them a chance to bring up big feelings – like a dread of going to the dentist or nervous anticipation about their dance show. It’s a perfect opportunity to build trust between you, help them work through worries and foster resilience.

Whoever called it ‘feeling blue’ clearly didn’t know that gazing at blue spaces actually brings down our risk of depression and anxiety. Being near water can even spark creativity. If you’re lucky enough to live near a waterway, boost everyone’s wellbeing watching the waves at the beach, counting the ducks bobbing on the lake, or skimming pebbles over the pond.

We’re calling on families to make a #PlayPledge and put more play into their day

Capture your playful moments and share them on social media, using the hashtags #PlayPledge #BuildAWorldOfPlay.

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