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In her Exchange article, "The Spirit of Adult Play" Bonnie Neugebauer observes that many must relearn the joys of playfulness. To do so, she suggests, they must be willing to spend freely, to squander, to waste (if you will), to be extravagant with their:
Time — Play must exist in a context of timelessness. The process is valued beyond the outcome of the play, so it must be possible to continue the experience across blocks of time, even across days and weeks. The play must find its own end, just as it found its own beginning....
Sense of Self — Play requires that one forget oneself. If self-conscious about their play, about how others will view either their play or the products of their play, children and adults are crippled. Their play is distorted by other consciousness.
Sense of Order — Play demands a certain amount of chaos. There must be room for using things and doing things in new ways. Play equipment and space must be flexible to meet the changing needs of the players. There must be storage for uncompleted play, and respect for unfinished spaces. Players require a degree of uncertainty and support for taking risks. Play is nurtured when there is no labeling of wrong and right.
Joy — Play without enjoyment is just plain hard work. Players need to laugh, and boast, and practice. There are many choices to be made, and each is a challenge. Play brings out the best in each of us.
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