Even talking about play, we need to be organized and present a clear benefit. If we want to discuss play, we tend to justify it with studies on how play helps kids learn, or how it helps build social skills, increase creativity, or reduce stress by increasing oxytocin levels in the brain. We need to cite a study before or just after we mention the word, or adults panic, just like the kids given imaginative freedom. "We can't just play, that would be...oh, it will help them study? Oh, well, that's okay, then...just as long as it is organized, and you can justify the wasted time with a quantifiable benefit."
While the benefits of play have been documented, we need to stop thinking about play as "wasted time," unless we have an FMRI and a fistful of higher state testing scores in hand to "justify" it. Sometimes we all need to play just because. Just because it is a lovely day outside. Just because we feel like it. Just because there is an open field and it begs for a game we invent. Just because there is a box of blocks, and a castle inside our heads waiting to emerge. Just because.