The Importance of Being Peter Pan

Posted on August 28, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Cookies, Fun, PLAY, Rainy Day Foods, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , |


I have always believed that the way to good mental health is by play and escapism.  I believe that the mind needs a break everyday from reality.  This is true for adults as well as for children.  Because of this, I have always said that I am Peter Pan.  I play in my own way every day and when I lay down at night, I go into a fantasy world of my choosing to relax myself to sleep.  I strongly believe that when a child of any age gets home from school that they should be allowed to play until dinner time and then they can do their homework.  A child needs to play so when they grow up they know how to relax and rest their minds.  My step-daughter has fine tuned adult Peter Panism and I am so very proud of her for doing it.  Some of her antics don’t mesh with my ideas, but that’s not important.  What’s important is that she’s having fun and teaching my eldest step-grandson to do the same.  For her sake, I am only sorry she waited until 40 to discover fun.

According to an article found in Kranzcents, ”children should be  taught to play games at an early age and adult should never stop playing them.   Games teach children patience, social interaction, negotiation, strategy, how to win and lose gracefully, mental stimulation, mental and physical confidence that keep us healthy.  No matter how old you are, playing games are important.  It is mentally stimulating, keeps you engaged and keeps you psychologically fit.  This is particularly important as we become older to stave off aging diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

By nature, humans are born to play. Playing is instinctive and fundamental to our existence. Playing helps us survive and thrive by connecting us to other human beings and to sources of energy and excitement within ourselves. Play is simultaneously a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playfulness helps us be more inventive, smart, happy, flexible, and resilient. A sure (and fun) way to develop your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and mental health is to play with your romantic partner, officemates, children, grandchildren, and friends.”

Furthermore, according to helpguide.org, “play is often described as a time when we feel most alive, yet we often take it for granted and may completely forget about it. But play isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. Play is as important to our physical and mental health as getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. Play teaches us how to manage and transform our “negative” emotions and experiences. It supercharges learning, helps us relieve stress, and connects us to others and the world around us. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable.

Despite the power of play, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us stop playing. We exchange play for work and responsibilities. When we do have some leisure time, we’re more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than to engage in creative, brain-stimulating play. By giving ourselves permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, we can continue to reap its benefits throughout life.”

I disagree with the helpguide.org article on one point. I believe that computer play should be included in positive play as there are many online games where you do interact with others socially, play as part of a team/group and that make you think.  I also think that crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, etc. that are found online help keep the mind active. As many of you know, I have been playing online role playing games such as Asheron’s Call, Dark Ages of Camelot and currently World of Warcraft for about 20 years now.  I have run an online guild called MRA (Mystical Realm of Asgard for most of that time.  We have had real life gatherings to meet our guild mates and go in costume to the local Renaissance Faires.  We role play a family and do help one another out online and in real life. So, you see, you can get some good benefits of playing on the computer too!

Plato (Greek philosopher 427-347 BC) says, “Life must be lived as play.”  I learned this lesson too late in life, unfortunately, although I always liked to play, I never applied it to life.  I wonder if I had applied it if I would have been more successful in my life.  But, I did learn it in time to apply it to teaching senior citizens how to use their new computers.  I told them to just think of the computer as a big, expensive toy and to remember they were in charge, not the computer.  I truly believe that this approach helped many computer phobic seniors learn and enjoy their computers.  I also tried to let them know that there were many fun aspects to computing such as games and computer generated crafts.

Brian Sutton-Smith (Contemporary American folklorist) believes, “the opposite of play is not work. It’s depression.”  I totally agree!!!

Ok, for today’s post I am giving you two recipes for fun food.  These goodies do not have to be made for a child.  Make them for yourself or for you and your significant other, or a friend.  Make them just for a laugh!  And yes, this can be a type of playing too!

Super Epic Rainbow Cake

Super Epic Rainbow Cake

Photo:  Whisk Kid

Recipe for this cake can be found at Whisk Kid.com

 

PLAY DOUGH COOKIES

By: Terri

“Swirls of color, similar looking to Play Doh.”

Original Recipe Yield 2 dozen

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter, softened

3 ounces cream cheese

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Assorted colors of paste food coloring

24 lollipop sticks

Directions

In a bowl cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir till soft dough forms. Divide dough into fourths. Tint each with a different food color. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hoursP Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Working with half of each color, shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and for each cookie place 1 pink, 1 green, 1 blue and 1 orange ball together to make 1 large ball. Shape into a 12 inch long roll (like a snake), starting at one end, coil roll to make a 2 3/4 inch round cookie. Place cookies 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Carefully insert lollipop sticks into bottoms of cookies. Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information Play Dough Cookies

Servings Per Recipe: 12

Amount Per Serving Calories: 302 Total Fat: 14.7g Cholesterol: 56mg

Sodium: 198mg Total Carbs: 38.9g Dietary Fiber: 0.8g Protein: 4.1g

I have not tried this recipe yet, but it is on my list of to-dos!  I found it at AllRecipes.com.

NOTE:  Tonight or tomorrow, in a separate post, I will post links for my favorite fun sites.

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2 Responses to “The Importance of Being Peter Pan”

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the picture of that cake makes me SO happy — and you’re right, it has a bunch of butter — but it’s not like we eat a GIANT slice every day, right? Moderation, people, seriously! What a cheerful recipe!

-Alexandra

Hi, Alexandra! Thank you for your complement. Actually, the comment about the butter came from the original author of the recipe, bittykate, as did all of the notes and photo. The recipe comes from a blog called Whisk Kid. Here is the url for that website for the page where you can see the original recipe and even a video of how to make the cake! Go to http://www.whisk-kid.com/2009/08/say-it-with-cake.html

Love,
Softa


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