Monday, 12 November 2012

Blog 5: Exploring Creativity and Play

Inspired from our blackboard discussion this past week on ‘Play’ I continued to explore its meaning, importance and impact on learning.   

As stated on blackboard, “I believe play is foundational to the human experience. In making this statement, I think of the many newborns and toddlers I have interacted with in the last few weeks. It is natural for young children to interact with others through imagined and structured play. As they become immersed in the cultural values of industriousness and productivity, the priority and enjoyment of play becomes suppressed and unfortunately diminishes over time. If play is essential to learning then it needs to be made more visible, alive and acceptable in the culture of our classrooms. Play needs to be reframed as a positive means to learn and not viewed as avoidance to learning. Creating opportunities to 'play' while you work should not be the exception but the rule for our students.”

Our adult habits lead to limits on creativity as we invent and rely on rules to govern our ideas. When we formulate ideas, we ‘self-edit’ which immediately diminishes our ability to be truly engaged in play. We develop a fearfulness in sharing our ideas, which leads to conservativeness in our thinking. We often limit ourselves to activities and experiences that have productive capital gains which can hinder our growth and development as playful beings.

What would happen if we developed a notion of “productive play?”

Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play

As suggested by Brown, “A new nuance of play needs to be developed. Surrender oneself to the experience of play. Forget adult behaviours that get in the way of our ideas. As adults, we need to learn how to transition in and out of play. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that we have to be either playful or serious but you cannot be both. However, it’s not an either, or but an and." 

"As adults we can be serious and play."

If we learn by doing, then as adults, we need to address our reluctance to play - to invest greater time and effort to cultivate and establish play into our lives. 

How do we develop greater security and trust in ourselves to become more playful and creative?

As suggested in Brown’s video, develop your playfulness by "thinking with your hands." 

Try the following:
  1. Create a list of uses for a paperclip.
  2. Create a list of uses for aluminum foil. 
  3. Create something new from a discarded cardboard box. 
  4. Complete the thirty circles test.


All images retrieved from, November 12, 2012

Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play (retrieved November 12, 2012)

1 comment:

Carole Jones said...

Hi Nancy. Your post provides links to lots of resources to further our thinking about creativity. I particularly connect with your reference to security and trust. When we can trust ourselves and allow for risk in our learning we will model this for students/children. I am seeing distinct differences in the creativity of children when they are in environments where they feel safe or unsafe. When children trust that their efforts will be supported - not critically evaluated; they are more open to explore and create. When they feel like their efforts will be judged as either be right or wrong their openness to exploration and creativity diminish. This is true for adults, too. Have you seen this in young children?