A Mission in Play

Why is it, that when we get older, the playtime ends? Why do our brains suddenly stop thinking up crazy ideas and fun things to do? Do we watch too much TV? Are we so busy with household chores and work that there is no time? I have tried to research this topic to no avail, but no luck so far.

Since I have not achieved a whole lot of success in this area, I have decided to take a different approach.

Attempt #1 -Camping

To begin with, I dressed my dolls all nicely -bathers underneath their regular clothes, so I don’t spend too much time swapping clothes around if they feel like going for a swim later. I took a few photos for Instagram, too, because I just couldn’t help myself. (@hollythepanda_)

I then got out a small number of things I thought I might need –the campervan, windsurf, food, towels and the like. The less I use, the more I will be forced to use my imagination! It’ll also save packing up, which is a bonus in itself.

The next step was setting the timer for 30 minutes. Basically, for 30 minutes, I wanted to settle down and play -with no getting distracted! Getting distracted is my main problem. And for 30 minutes, I actually had a fine ‘ol time. The best part was when I realised -where are the girls going to sleep? (There’s only one bed in the campervan) I then proceeded to build a tent out of scarves under my desk. Just like a child! It isn’t even an idea I thought very hard about, it just popped up in my head!

When those 30 minutes were up, that was it. I left the room (and all the mess) and went off to wander around the house doing a whole lot of nothing. In my game, the girls packed their suitcases for the trip, drove to the campsite, set up everything, cooked dinner and watched a movie. Yep, that’s it. I remember why I used to play for 5 hours straight; everything takes so long in Barbieland!


Attempt #2 -Hairdressers

This time, I tried a much smaller game with no timer. This was one of my favourites when I was younger. I set up the hairdressing salon, complete with sink, mirror and all the little accessories, then let the customers come! Actually, there were only two customers before I got bored. The first one, I washed her hair, then did a fancy braid along one side and finished off the look with some colourful clips. This all took quite some time.

For the second customer, I simply washed her hair -then decided I couldn’t be bothered. But, in all fairness, I did spend a decent amount of time on the hairdressers game. However there was less ‘playing with the dolls and making up a storyline’ and more ‘playing with hair.’ Regardless, I consider attempt #2 a success.


Attempt #3 -Adventures in Space

Yep, I brought out Cloudship #507 again. I didn’t bring out any accessories, except for a packet of chips and a couch as I needed them, and brought out dolls slowly as I introduced new characters. I invented lots of storylines that I didn’t plan out beforehand -like needing to trade a rare packet of chips, no longer sold in vending machines on the spaceship, in order to keep Stacie quiet about Jewel visiting the science lab after hours. So that part was lots of fun. There was Neko, the main character and the daughter of the ship’s captain, Jewel, the assistant engineer, Holly, the junior space explorer, and Zapp, the transfer student who is studying to be a pilot.

It was pretty fun. Until Holly and Neko visited an unexplored planet with dangerous gas around it, without the captain’s permission. Then I suddenly got bored, because I had no idea what to do. So I put the dolls down and walked off.


Conclusion: Playing by yourself sucks.

Are you able to “play” with Barbies like you used to? What do you think happens when we get older?


Neko tries out her new goggles that allow her to see through the dangerous gas.


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