Rethinking Play This Summer

In recent blog readings (down some rabbit holes in fact), I’ve seen lists about playing, lists about summer fun, lists about self-care, and some thinking about what your “fun age” is. As part of Release (my WOTY), both Playing More and Doing Things that are Frivolous were on my 20 for 2020 list.   As I look at these various lists, I ponder, “What is play?” Is it part of self-care? Is it experiencing jolts of joy? Is it frivolous? Is it summer fun? Does it matter?

I’ve created my own list of Summer Play, pulling inspiration from many of these various sources. I’m going to keep this list front and center this summer. I think it will be helpful to bring more lightness into my life. I’m not sure what fun age it makes me!  And since some of my regular activities might be impossible this summer, given the state of Covid-19 in our area, hopefully this list will keep me thinking and acting more positive as we progress into the heat of summer.

My Summer of Play – A Possibilities List

  • Read a few light-hearted, happy-ending, summer books
  • Take a walk/hike, preferably with a friend
  • Take pictures on my walk, if alone
  • Go to a museum (beat the heat)
  • Picnic outdoors – park/beach/back yard?
  • Take a (new) yoga class or cardio class
  • Color in my coloring book
  • Collect shells at the beach
  • Fly a kite at the beach
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Play catch with Taylor (our dog)
  • Go to the movies (or watch a movie on TV!)
  • Watch the clouds, the lightening, the sunrise, the sunset (stop and enjoy moments of nature)
  • Treat myself to soft serve ice-cream cone
  • Go for a long bike ride
  • Take out the SUP or kayak
  • Play with words – crosswords, scrabble, word search
  • Synthesize reading/studying on a subject (yes, this is fun for me)
  • Go to craft show or art-walk (OK, probably not this summer)
  • Find fresh tomatoes and fresh corn (somewhere!)
  • Try new foods
  • Try new recipes
  • Do a tarot reading
  • Eat a lot of summer fruits
  • Enjoy ice cream – Magnum ice cream bars!
  • Play with my craft stuff (for me that’s wire wrapping, beading, origami)
  • Wear clothes that make me feel good – buy a new sundress?
  • Get a pedicure (or a manicure?)
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle
  • Get take-out – BBQ, Sushi, Thai
  • Explore local gardens or parks (with a friend?)
  • Go bird-watching
  • Use the fire pit (s’mores?)
  • Margaritas on the porch

What are you doing to play this summer? Can you add an idea to my list?


20 thoughts on “Rethinking Play This Summer

    1. Unfortunately an “episode” in my early 20’s with G&T means they make my stomach turn. Margarita, Moscow Mule, or maybe find a new fun summer cocktail. Adding it to my list!


  1. Playing is a huge part of staying young in my opinion Pat and your list has some fun items on it. I envy you as you enjoy your summer, we still have a few months to go. Nature has a lot to offer and learning new skills are a great way to keep the fun alive. #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You just need a similar list for winter play! If you create one, please share so I can steal it for 3-4 months from now….I think we’re still going to be dealing with the pandemic here this winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have learned that my play has replaced my work and I could not be happier. Productiveness of work lives is GONE. Enjoying time…to do what I like and enjoy is HERE.

    Well-done you on your list!!

    Denyse #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still early on the journey of releasing the need for productiveness of work … and not feeling guilty or wrong. But it’s helpful to see others being “successful” at just enjoying life and know I can be as well!


  3. I love your summer play list, Pat. I may make one of my own. I would definitely include reading a lighthearted book and working on my jigsaw puzzle, taking an easy hike, having a BBQ. Here’s to a joyful summer!

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  4. Hi Pat – we’re in the middle of Winter here, but I still want to make sure I’m doing some fun things. We’re so fortunate in Western Australia – no community cases of covid and only a few returned travellers in quarantine who have it. So everything is pretty much open (except our borders!) and we can get out as much as we like. I’m still avoiding close contact with large groups of people, but I don’t need “events” to have fun – I’m just grateful for coffee dates, and walks, and browsing thru an uncrowded shop. LIfe is pretty darn good and I’m very grateful for where I live (especially when others write about masks, and disease spread, and people not complying.
    PS – sorry about the MLSTL early closure xx

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    1. Leanne, Our numbers are not down, so many of us were/are even fearful of going to the shops. They just enacted mandatory masks in all retail business for everyone. I’m hoping people comply. At our favorite international grocery earlier this week, only about 60% of the people were wearing masks. I know. Mandatory but there is no penalty in place for non-compliance! And still 1000 new cases a day locally. It’s probably hard for you to even grasp that… and Florida state is averaging 10,000 new cases a day. Australia handled this whole thing so well. You should be extremely grateful for your government!


      1. Hi Pat – those figures are completely out of the realm of my understanding – and VERY frightening. We’ve almost no cases at all here in Western Australia still – but a resurgence over in other States from a few idiots who refused to self-isolate and went out into the community and spread their covid germs everywhere. It’s quite confronting to see something almost completely eradicated suddenly re-flare into life again from non-compliance. It does make me wonder what the future holds.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s really a good list, especially the bird watching. We’re right at the start of our owl watching here, which we’ve noticed gets into high gear in July. All of the crows go nuts when they make they’re appearance, and that’s how we know they’ve returned. After three months of stop-and-go reading attempts, I’m finally in a groove with books again. I’m currently 1/4 through “The Good Liar” by Nicholas Searle. I have the film based on the novel requested at the library, but I’m 79th on the wait-list. So I should be able to finish it in time!

    Enjoy that ice cream. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went to the local half-price book store (masks required) and bought a bunch of light reading… that’s romances for me. Totally predictable, happy ending, nothing to slog through. That’s my summer reading plan! Something you can read while drinking the margarita on the porch.


    1. Janis, A friend read my blog on FB and offered me some home grown tomatoes (when they ripen). Now if only someone would offer me fresh corn. The grocery corn just isn’t the same as really farm fresh. Like you, I am still avoiding inside things.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Pat! All good ideas except I’m not going anywhere inside like: Movies, haircuts, pedicures and/or museums. I have been distant socializing with friends on the patio for a couple of dinners/take outs and that has been fun but we are staying safe. Anything we can do to have some form of fun is good! ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I chuckled since my pedicure plan is doing one myself! A friend went to our Art Museum, where you now need a reservation, and commented that she felt very safe – few people, everyone wearing masks. So it will remain on the possibilities, but like you, I am trying to stay outside in most of my ventures.


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