Playing...Adult Style by Darlene Beck Jacobson


 "PLAY is the work of the child" - Maria Montessori

Since our July theme is how we play and what we adult writers consider adventure, I am taking you on a walk through one of the summer activities I enjoy and have enjoyed since childhood.

Going out for a walk...first thing in the morning before I eat breakfast... is the perfect time to tune into nature uninterrupted by lawnmowers or man-made noise. It feels like play to discover something unexpected on one of these walks. It happens whether I walk on a beach, in my neighborhood, or in a woodland setting. Anywhere my feet take me. 

Here are some examples of unexpected treasures on my morning walks:


 On a beach walk. (Give yourself a pat on the back if you know what this is...)




From a walk on a woodland path.








On a sidewalk in my neighborhood: 


What can easily be missed when we don't pay attention, becomes an unexpected gift. I get just as excited discovering these everyday things in unexpected moments now, as I did when I was a child. It reminds me of the simple ways kids engage in and appreciate the world around them.

Walking becomes play when something new is found.

Learning new skills and trying new things also counts as play and it brings to mind the characters we write about and create. They strive to learn new things, solve new problems, become new versions of themselves.

We make our characters come to life in authentic ways when we channel our playful and curious nature. Paying attention to the "little things" that bring wonder and joy to life.

Walking on a forest path outside State College, PA in June 2021. It looks like the fairies had made a recent visit...since these ornaments were not there on the same walk the day before.


When she isn't writing books for children, Darlene Beck Jacobson enjoys exploring the natural world and making unique discoveries. Even though she lives in NJ, she's discovered amazing things in lots of other places as well.

You can find some of these things on her blog:


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