Who says adults can’t play like kids do? No matter your age, you can fit more play into your day. We rounded up 70 ideas for adding more play to your life as an adult.
But first, let’s break down an important distinction.
Play vs Hobbies: What is play?
We define play as doing something you enjoy with no real purpose or agenda in mind. There doesn’t have to be a point to your activity, nor do you need to adopt it as a full blown hobby that you try to improve on. You don’t need to be good at play — enjoy yourself and soak in the moment, no matter which activity you decide to try!
Or kids coloring books, because who cares! Grab a new set of crayons, colored pencils, or markers while you’re at it. And don’t forget — it’s okay if you color outside the lines, just have fun with it!
Who says we can’t still be pen pals? Snail mail is so fun. If you’re looking for a pen pal, you can sign up for one here.
4. Try hand lettering
Hand lettering is a visual art that focuses on drawing and illustrating beautiful letters. Even if your handwriting isn’t *perfect* give hand lettering a shot! There are so many ways to customize your letters to your preferences.
Raise your hand if you ever did a Paint by Numbers when you were a kid. Same here! Whether you’re looking for a more structured paint session, or want to grab a few paint colors and get messy, painting is for everyone.
6. Read fiction
Not books for school or work, but just for fun. What are you curious about? I love fantasy romance fiction books, personally. New reading genres get you out of your comfort zone, so head to a book store and pick out something on a whim.
7. Fun outdoor games
Outdoor games, like giant Jenga or cornhole, are a great way to sneak in some play and some movement too. Get out there and put your competition face on!
8. Do outdoor sports activities
Put on your tennis shoes and step outside for some tennis, volleyball, soccer, or football. Outdoor sports activities enable you to play with others and soak up some Vitamin D if you’re lucky too!
9. Play arcade-style games
Calling all Pac-Man and Super Mario lovers, this one is for you! Indulge in some arcade-style games, either ones you enjoyed as a kid or explore newly released ones.
10. Learn a language
Duolingo and other fun learning platforms make it easier than ever to finally learn that new language you told yourself you always wanted to speak.
11. Bake something
Cookies, pastries, brownies — oh my! Bake your favorite treat or grab a new recipe you haven’t gotten around to making yet for an extra challenge.
12. Create a TikTok
Create a TikTok, not for the sake of making money from it, but purely for the fun of it. Have a passion for fiction books? Join the BookTok community on TikTok. Have a passion for cooking? Cleaning? Traveling? Vegan food? There’s literally no niche too small for TikTok.
Familiarize yourself with your local surroundings by exploring your city. Try new restaurants and bars to find the best food and drinks nearby.
14. Play computer games
If you spent hours playing games on the computer as a kid, don’t worry, we did too. Choose your game of choice and indulge in some childhood nostalgia.
15. Get a jigsaw puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles are fun and low-key tools for playing at home! You can enjoy a TV show while you solve the puzzle, too, if you’d like.
16. Create a play box and pick a random activity to play
Kids aren’t the only ones who should have boxes full of toys and activities to play with. Create a play box and add your favorite activities to it. Fidget spinners, brainteasers, and coloring books are a great place to start if you need ideas.
17. Take a pottery class
Pottery classes are a blast. Sign up for one by yourself or with a friend and create a handmade item you never thought you’d be able to make on your own.
18. Travel on a whim
Pick a destination, book your flights or hop in the car, and get going! Wanderlust is real.
19. Collect things
Collecting things is a childlike practice that can invoke feelings of nostalgia and excitement. In fact, collections allow people to relive their childhood, so pick up your baseball card collection right where you left off.
Whether it’s Polaroids or film cameras, there’s nothing quite like capturing moments and being able to relive them later down the road.
21. Read tarot
Tarot readings are a fun way to explore your spiritual side. Grab a Tarot deck, so you can give your friends fun readings – or pull a card to give you an intention for the week.
22. Rollerskate or skateboard
Remember those late nights at Skate City? Were you more of the skatepark type as a kid? Grab your wheels and get moving.
23. Do embroidery
Embroidery is the craft of decorating fabric by threading yarn directly onto it. You can create all sorts of designs with embroidery.
24. Learn magic tricks
Magic shows aren’t just for kids! You can learn magic tricks and impress your friends and family in no time. Here’s a magic set to help you get started.
25. Plan self-care nights, but make it themed
Face masks, bath bombs, Netflix, candles, and essential oils are the go-to items we love for self-care nights. Plan a themed self-care night, like a romantic one where you take a candlelit bath while watching a rom-com. You deserve all the love in the world!
26. Dopamine Dressing
Have you heard of dopamine dressing? It’s simple. Dopamine dressing is all about wearing clothes that make you happy and bring you joy. Play with your wardrobe for a dopamine boost today!
Candles can be expensive, so why not purchase the materials and make your own? Bonus points if you break out your markers and crayons and create your own candle labels.
29. Get a hula hoop
Hula hoops have been around since 500 BC, which clearly means they’re so much fun that they’ll stand the test of time! Challenge your friends to a hula hooping contest just like old times.
30. Play Wordle or any fun word games
Is Wordle a trend or is it here to stay? Only time will tell. Whether it’s Wordle or something else, word games are the perfect way to sneak in some playtime and brain puzzles.
31. Take entertaining friends to the next level
Do something out of the ordinary for your friend group. Need some ideas? Plan an at-home murder mystery event, host Friendsgiving in the middle of the summer, or hold a DIY pizza night.
32. Sign up for stand up comedy or improv
Push yourself outside of your comfort zone by signing up for a stand-up comedy or improv night.
33. Hike new routes
Mix it up! Explore the outdoors and hike a new route you haven’t explored before. Bonus points if it’s in an area you’re unfamiliar with that’s outside of your comfort zone.
Instead of meditating, spend time listening to your favorite music and visualize your future. What would your dream closet look like? What would you do if you had a million dollars to spend? Have fun with your imagination.
35. Take random walking routes
There’s almost always more than one way to reach your destination, so try a new walking route. Or walk somewhere with no end goal in mind and see where your paths and turns take you.
Break out your ukulele, guitar, or piano and learn how to play it. Or sign up for lessons if you’re into that sort of thing.
38. Put on temporary tattoos
Remember how fun it was to receive temporary tattoos as a kid? Trust us, temporary tattoos are still just as fun as they used to be. Grab a sheet and cover your skin.
39. DIY / Fix up items in your home
A DIY home project allows you to put your home improvement skills to the test. Tackle an area of your home that you’ve always wanted to fix up.
40. Make jewelry
Making polymer clay earrings has gained popularity over the last few years. Clay jewelry is a nice way to blend your crafting skills with a fun outcome. Search YouTube for DIY tutorials to help you dive right in.
41. Recreate a makeup look
Have you ever seen a celebrity on TV or in the news and wanted to recreate their look? There’s no time like the present! Grab your makeup and inspiration pics and get started.
42. Find a random artist at random and listen to their entire album
We all have our favorite musical artists, playlists, and genres, but consider branching out and finding someone new to listen to. Ask your friends for recommendations.
43. Brainstorm an idea for a children’s picture book
Calling all Goodnight Moon and Charlotte’s Web lovers! You can create a children’s picture book too. Brainstorm an idea for a modern-day children’s picture book and draw out a page or two to see how your idea comes to life.
44. Go to the store and pick out a new board game to try
There are aisles of board games to choose from these days! Head to your nearest store, close your eyes, and pick a new board game at random for a game night with you friends or family members.
45. Make a bookmark for yourself or to gift to others
If you’re a bookworm, there’s a good chance you need another bookmark. Snag some construction paper, markers, and stickers, and make your own!
46. Round up some friends to play flag football or red rover
Enjoy some time outside with friends and play a game that gets your bodies moving. Flag football is always a blast (just make sure anyone who tackles is kicked out!)
47. Find online trivia quizzes to test your knowledge on random topics
Or, just take a Buzzfeed-style quiz for funsies, like this aura quiz.
48. Play “tiger rabbit”
Tiger rabbit is a game where you keep naming animals that end with the last letter of the previous animal. See how long you can go. Fun to do it by yourself or with others. It’s the perfect brainteaser when you’re stuck waiting in a long line.
49. Spruce up one of your rooms while sticking to a certain budget
Add new wallpaper, rearrange your furniture, or grab some new small accessories at Target to spruce up one of your rooms at home. Play with new colors, patterns, or setups that you usually wouldn’t choose.
50. Design your dream life on the Sims
This throwback game doesn’t miss.
Don’t forget to use the Motherlode cheat. Or, at least that used to be my favorite way to play.
51. Rent a bounce house
Bounce houses aren’t just for kids’ birthday parties or school events. If you have space for once, rent a bounce house for a few hours for you and your friends.
52. Plan a Playcation
Stay at a treehouse or plan a trip to Disney World. The whole intent? Play.
53. Visit all the Little Libraries in your town
You know, those small libraries of books people have outside their homes. Take a book, share a book. Use this map to find some Little Libraries in your area.
54. Solve a Rubik’s cube
The iconic Rubik’s cube was created in the mid 1970s. Solving one (or trying to) is a great way to sneak some play into your day in an easy way.
55. Go to the park
Play on the swing set, go down the slides, or bring your own yard games for the perfect park outing.
Are you up for the challenge? Sudoku puzzles will put your brain to the test!
57. Nail art
If painted nails are your jam, consider playing around with nail art designs. You can use nail polish paint or order stickers and stamps to use on your nails.
58. Dye your hair colorful
Raise your hand if you’ve always wanted a pink streak or two in your hair. Yeah, us too! Dye your hair or add colorful highlights for a twist on your usual do.
59. Create a charcuterie board
Charcuterie boards are all the rage (and for a good reason!) They’re delicious, easy to make, and perfect for sharing with others. Create a charcuterie board with your favorite snack options.
60. Get a creative thinking journal
Creative thinking exercises encourage you to change the way you think. These journals are filled with creative challenges to keep your mind busy for weeks.
61. Do some upcycling projects
Upcycling, or creative reuse, involves transforming waste or unwanted byproducts into art. You can do upcycling projects of your own and create things like this Upcycled Wine Bottle Heart Chime.
62. Make fun cocktails (or mocktails)
In the mood for a playful night in? Make at-home cocktails or mocktails and try a new drink you don’t usually order while you’re out.
63. Learn how to create a braid
Okay, let’s be honest, braiding isn’t as easy as it looks. There are many different varieties of braids you can learn using your hair or yarn.
64. Try all the ice cream flavors at your favorite spot
Or all the cocktail options at your favorite bar. Think of it like that game we used to play as kids where you’d put all of the soda flavors in your cup, only better.
65. Design with Procreate
If you have an iPad Pro, first of all, I’m jealous of you. Second off, if you aren’t already using Procreate, buy it ASAP! Digital drawing is in.
66. Create a scrapbook
Gather your favorite photos, some stickers, and colored paper to create a scrapbook of all of your best-kept memories.
67. Create your custom scent
Make your own perfume with essential oils. Use this perfume oil guide to walk you through how to concoct your personal blend. Who doesn’t want to have their own unique, delicious smell?
68. Order something random off the menu
Choose an appetizer or a dessert, if you wish. Or close your eyes and point at a random menu item to try (no backing out once you open your eyes!)
69. Join a Fantasy League
Whether it’s an NFL Fantasy League or Bachelor Fantasy League, playing fantasy sports with friends or strangers is a blast.
70. Pick a childhood toy to play with friends
Like Nerf Guns or Polly Pocket. Choose something nostalgic for an extra playful friend date.