Do adults need play time? Research shows that play has cognitive, social, and intellectual benefits for children. Studies from the past 30 + years have indicated that playtime is as important developmentally as structured education (Barnett, Journal of Leisure Research, v.22, 1990).
However, less attention has been given to the benefits that play can have for adults. That got us wondering…Can play help the adult brain as well? Is free time still important as we get older? (By “free” we mean work-free, screen-free, and judgement-free.) The game crew at Room to Escape set out to dig up some research on the topic, and here is what we discovered:
- World Psychology published an article in 2012 arguing for the importance of play for grown-ups. The article pointed-out that while competitive play events (i.e. sports) are good for adults, non-competitive playful activities are also important. Author Margarita Tartakovsky suggests that the latter kind of play leads to deeper interpersonal connections between adults.
- On his blog “Play in Mind,” Psychology Today author Dr. Scott G. Eberle proposed that play could enhance imagination. A strong imagination could in turn lead to new discoveries and scientific innovation. Dr. Eberle cites advances in germ theory as resulting from the playful minds of the past asking, “What if?”
- Dr. Stuart Brown made the case for adult playtime in a 2008 TED Talk. Dr. Brown is considered a pioneer in the field of play research, and he argued that play time for adults can make us smarter as we get older. Dr. Brown also suggested that the ability to play is an indication that humans are cognitively superior to other mammals.
What’s the take-away from this research? Have fun! Play! Enjoy your time in new ways. If you haven’t played in awhile, Room to Escape can help. Our one-hour escape experiences are the perfect way to revisit the play time you thought you had left behind.
Grown-ups need play time. Studies have shown that play can enhance our connections with our friends and family, open our minds to new discoveries, and help build our I.Q. as we get older. Book an escape today and come play with us!