Time for Play!

Let’s Get Closer – Intelligent Change

Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” plays in the air as my six-year-old niece and I hit each other with stuffed animals. The rules: whoever falls loses. Her unicorn hits me square in the face as my glasses fly off and the gray wolf, Wolfie, I was holding falls from my hands. I fall to the ground, sprawled out as I howl “heat waves been fakin’ me ooooooout.” It’s spring break for her and I decided to spend some time visiting her. Instead of hitting up the beach in Miami, we went to the zoo in DC to see all the wild beasts – and her fav, the cute black and white panda.

Fun and subsequently play, has been missing from my life, and the lives of many adults. These past few years have been riddled with fear and stress, and people cope with it the best ways they can. Ultimately though they’ve felt alone and have missed out on the creative spirit of play with others and themselves. That’s why when I heard of Intelligent Change’s Let’s Get Closer card game, I just had to get myself a set.

Based on positive psychology (think happiness, well-being, positive language, overall good vibes), the game is meant to foster closer relationships between you and other players. The likes of your family, friends, partners, and even coworkers. Let’s Get Closer has a series of cards in each level, and each level grows progressively more in depth and complex with questions. Green is Close, Yellow is Closer, and the most intimate level, Red for Closest.

I played it with my family as we gathered for the holiday break. One card was to spend five minutes fake laughing until it turned into real laughter. At first we all groaned but eventually started with a little chuckle. My sister made eye contact with me and that’s when I started to really get into it. My niece made a silly face to my brother causing him to snort and then everyone started laughing-crying-snorting. Then the timer beeped. My side aches in the best of ways, as I picked up a Closest card. It asked about our thoughts on a higher power and our relationship to it. I thought I would know the answer to what my family believed, but as I listened to my siblings and mom describe their beliefs I realized I actually didn’t. It was raw, real and, yes, a few tears were shed. Once we finished the game we sat and chatted about our thoughts, feelings, and hopes for moving forward and being closer as a community.

Let’s Get Closer is the springboard to strengthening relationships while still playing and connecting with our inner child. There are other additions of the games including for couples, family, and even teams. Intelligent Change is truly that: an intelligent change for wanting better for ourselves and spreading that to others.

Let’s Get Closer should be in every home – and you can get your own set here. Enjoy playing!