The Importance of Play

Share this post:

I recently visited the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. One of the Museum’s programs is Kids Design Glass. Children aged twelve and under are invited to submit designs for glass sculptures. Each month one or two is selected by the Museum of Glass Hot Shop team. They create two copies of each – one for the child designer and one for the Museum display.

Information at the display states that sometimes the children’s whimsical design stretch the talents of the Museum’s highly skilled glassblowing team. I was reminded that all art – visual, writing, music or performance art – is a combination of creativity and technique.

As adults, we study and hone our technique. This is important. But in the work of perfecting our craft we may sometimes forget to play. Play is an important part of the creative process. A sign at the Museum said, “Artists play, just like children.”

Hands on creative play is often dismissed as old-fashioned, but it is important to creativity and constructive problem-solving. We all need quiet, unstructured time to play and become inspired.

If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play. ∼John Cleese

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct. ∼Carl Jung

Serious play is not an oxymoron. It is the essence of innovation. ∼Michael Schrage

To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play. ∼Albert Einstein

How do you play and foster creativity?

Floating Down The River
Floating Down the River by Crystal Zhong (age 10), made in 2009
Sockness Monster
Sockness Monster by Hannah Wilson (age 11), made in 2009

Play is important in fostering #creativity

Share this post:


  1. yosemitesyd said:

    So true! Play sometimes feels like a waste of time with no tangible results, but so NOT true! When I play hooky from my work and do something arty, crafty, or physical, it works other parts of my brain and I have more to bring to my project when I return.

    I’ve been to that museum. What a treasure.

    May 13, 2016
  2. jacquiegum said:

    I love the whole idea of this! It struck me how it serves the need of both the child and the glass-blower. Both in whimsy and sheer talent!

    May 14, 2016
    • Donna Janke said:

      Jacquie, it was interesting to see the designs the kids came up with.

      May 17, 2016
  3. Brooke said:

    Thank you for visiting my blog. It was such a nice day and I am so pleased the photos turned out well. What a fun idea for an art exhibit and a great way to keep children interested.

    May 21, 2016

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.