What is Creative Play?

In my last post, I wrote about the Importance of Play for adults, highlighting a few of the numerous benefits to body, mind + spirit.

But what is creative play, and how can we easily incorporate more of it into our lives?

Like play, being creative ought to be fun, joyful, bring a smile to your face, and not feel like an obligation. Sure, there are professional creators and artists of all kinds who encounter moments (many, in fact) when creating is for work, and feels like work. Inspiration certainly doesn’t always flow like water from a tap, but we push through. The more we infuse our day with creative play, the more consistently inspiration appears.

It’s kind of like gratitude—the more we are grateful for, the more things appear for which to be grateful.

The key is play—doing something simply for the sake of having fun. Psychiatrist and founder of the National Institute for Play, Stuart Brown, defines play as “a state of being—purposeless, fun and pleasurable.”

Creative play, by my fancy definition, is doing something creative or artistic without giving two hoots about the outcome. It’s about being so “in the moment” that you gleefully fall into a headspace where you aren’t ruminating over grocery lists or parent-teacher interviews, dramatic coworkers or deadlines. And you most definitely aren’t fussing about how that line you painted is more-than-a-little wonky, or how that pig you doodled looks more like a reasonably drawn facsimile of your inebriated uncle last Thanksgiving. Creative play is meant to be fun, for the sake of fun.

Creative play at home might look something like this:

  • Arranging food on a plate in a decorative way
  • Mark-making in a dollar store sketchbook (you don’t have to call it doodling if that feels too intimidating)
  • Engineering worlds with building blocks
  • Finger painting with craft paints on fabric, canvases, or plain ol’ paper
  • Plucking away at that guitar you shoved in the back of your storage room
  • Writing a funny story
  • Designing a Vision Board with magazine cut-outs
  • Journaling special experiences using doodles instead of words
  • Smooshing play dough or plasticine into silly shapes

The list goes on, and on, and on, and on, and…

Share in the comments some of your own creative play ideas—either something you have enjoyed doing, or would like to try.

Are you seeking fun new ways to play with your creative energy? Come to CAMP, where you can enjoy online art classes, live events + community. Think of it as your online happy place for Creative Awakenings, Mindfulness + Play!

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