We can learn a lot about ourselves when we play. Yes, even as adults.
What follows are 20 silly prompts to help you get to know yourself on a different – maybe even more profound – level.
- Draw yourself as a cartoon character.
- Write a poem that rhymes about your favorite toy from childhood.
- Write a song about your favorite socks.
- Finish this sentence, “If I were a color, I’d be _________ because ___________.”
- Write about your love for something silly yet significant to you.
- Draw what you look like when you’re excited, and then list the things that excite you. How can you incorporate more of those things into your days?
- Finish this sentence, “If I were something in nature, I’d be _________ because ___________.”
- Write a definition of “magic,” and draw what is magical to you.
- Write a one-page fairytale with yourself as the protagonist. Who is the antagonist? What evil are you battling against? How do you ultimately triumph?
- Finish this sentence, “If I were a children’s book, I’d be _________ because ___________.”
- Draw yourself as a superhero. What’s your super-secret superpower?
- Make a list of names you’ve wanted to be called throughout the years. Next to each one, jot down why.
- Snap a photo of something that makes you laugh.
- Take out all the writing utensils you have in your home—markers, crayons, colored pencils, paints, whatever—and make a mess with them. It doesn’t matter whether you have 20 minutes or five minutes. After you’re done, reflect on how it felt to play on paper.
- List three “rules” you really want to break (e.g., don’t eat dessert before dinner; never play with your food). And maybe even break them!
- Finish this sentence, “If I were a toy, I’d be _________ because ___________.”
- Write about the feeling you’re feeling right now as if it were a person. Give the person a name, a background story, and a description that reflects your physical sensations, thoughts and anything else that’s important.
- Finish this sentence, “If I were a food, I’d be _________ because ___________.”
- Have a conversation between you and your soul. Jot down the conversation. What does your soul want you to know? What do you want your soul to know?
- Write down an invention you wish existed—and why you so wish it did. Take this further by creating a story of how you invented this incredible thing.
To know ourselves, we don’t always have to be so serious. We spend so much time being serious as adults. And it’s easy to mistake serious for somber, solemn, and stern. It’s easy to live inside our minds, to feel trapped there, to feel suffocated by daily responsibilities.
Give yourself the space to play—and possibly learn some cool things in the process.