Only play can get us back to our "presymbolic drives of gut feelings, emotions, intuition, and fun from which insights stem..." Play allows us to create our world and thus new arts and sciences. (p 267)

Learning that is initiated by play is fun and encourages creativity. Piaget believed that play was very important in strengthening mental skills by means of practice, symbolic play, and game play. Play become a tool to use materials, techniques, and rules to create unusal behaviors, make observations and develop new ideas.


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Scientists also use lots of play in their work. As example, Fleming had lots of fun playing with bacteria. Outside of the lab he played games and sports, changed the rules to make the games harder for himself



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Bacteria painting


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Another example, Max Delbruck, one of the founder of molecular biology added to the concept of "limited sloppiness" to his work. He wanted to be sloppy enough so that the unexpected could happen, but not so sloppy you couldn't tell what it was.

Play is the impetus for inventive activity. Inventiveness is enhanced by toys, even for adults, and many inventions have resulted. Through play we can make things whatever we want them to be. We are able to juggle boundaries, truth, rules, and limits to cause something interesting to happen. We can break the rules, but still must make new rules. These limits help us create, innovate, and gain understanding of reason and knowledge.

Real world problems can be solved through play as new phenomenon is uncovered. The authors' sad conclusion is that play is now rare and our schools and homes have failed to foster basic curiosity.


Now, go play!