This course focuses on
the holistic uses of cooperative play, celebration,
leisure time, toys, and games as a way to promote mind/body
health and wellness across the life span. Participants
will learn how play is used to intellectually enhance
new learning, increase creativity, solve problems,
and provide motivation for intellectual engagement;
emotionally improve effective coping, enhance relaxation,
manage stress; and physically provide gentle exercise,
and have fun both individually and with others.
Along with getting more
exercise and eating well, nearly every listing in the
top ten ways to reduce stress and create a more balanced
lifestyle includes making time for laughter and play.
As employers become more concerned with productivity
and world-wide competition, time for diversions and
productive leisure gets shifted to the bottom of the
priority list. When we do find leisure time, our western
society emphasizes spectator sports that stress competition
and winning for the few over active involvement of
the many. Many Americans go from the desk to the couch
year after year, believing erroneously that the TV
will provide needed relaxation and stress reduction.
Society greatly influences our holistic approaches
and applications to the uses of play, celebration,
and leisure time throughout the life span.
Major Topics of the
basic principals of holistic health and explore the
role of play.
A. Primary health risks in America.
B. Effects of stress on health.
C. Research ways to reduce stress.
D. Define holistic health and explore the effect
of choices and lifestyle
on physical, emotional, and intellectual well being.
relationship to time and its influence on work and
A. Past, present, and future orientated societies
B. Time and its relationship to stress and health.
1. Time requirements or work; our measures of productivity.
2. Time, health, and types of personalities.
C. Increases in stress caused by changes in American
1. The unexpected decline of leisure time/changes in
stress in the
2. Comparison between the United States and other countries
of pace and life and vacation
of play to increase physical well-being, intellectual
functioning, and emotional happiness.
1. Physical play and its role in feeling states.
2. Active vs. passive activity.
3. Playful activity and relationship to stress.
4. Historical uses and functions of play across life
1. Uses of play and/or toys in meditation and relaxation.
2. Research on the creative effects of "play with
it" vs. "work on it".
3. Uses of play to add humor and fun to our lives.
4. Cooperation vs. competition; play as a bridge to
1. Whole brained activities that stimulate analytic
2. Research on older people and brain functioning.
- Uses of play to increase growth
3. Play as a means to increase creativity and remain
engaged; uses of play to increase
life-long dendrite growth.
(Research has shown that the
brain grows during activities that
are new, "exotic",
and that involve multiple senses).
and its role in spirituality and celebration.
A. Historical uses of rituals, celebrations,
B. Rituals, identity, and health.
as a means to optimal experience.
A. Play in mindfulness and creating an absorbing
B. Play, fun, and their relationship to happiness.
C. Play and "peak" experiences.
D. Play and states of consciousness.