What are the essential ingredients for fun? Before I start on my 100 Day Play Project, I want to put in place some principles to help make it a success.

I’ll try to follow these 5 rules. These are what I consider to be universal truths about play.

1. Play has to be fun for me

As individuals we all like different things. My husband loves adventure sport, and I’m a bit of a scaredy cat.

As Gretchen Rubin says in her book The Happiness Project, “Just because something is fun for other people, doesn’t mean its fun for me – and vice versa”.

For play to be fun, it needs to be fun for you. Be honest with yourself and look for common ground with the people in your life.

2. Get out of your comfort zone

What keeps us on the sidelines is fear of making a fool of ourselves, failure, or getting hurt.

Taking the first step is the biggest challenge to get out of our comfort zone.

Trying something new is another great way to bust out of our comfort zones.

We’re ruled by habits. People change and there’s always great new stuff to try and do. Make play about trying new things.

3. Be where you are

Play can happen anywhere and anytime. Look for ways to bring playfulness into every part of your life. Be open and spontaneous and play will often find you.

Play for your energy level. Don’t pressure yourself when you’re tired or stretched. Be creative with pre-prepared ideas for low energy play.

4. Use all your senses

Play is fun because of what we see, hear and feel. Sometimes it’s in our ears, mouths, minds, arms and legs. Play is a fully sensory experience.

5. Play is a priority

Set aside some time for play. Make some rules and stick to them. My rule is to have 30 minutes of play every day.

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