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Creative Decision-Making during Play

Whether you’re at home or at school, PLAY is the thing to do!

We are big champions of play over here, and believe in the importance and immense benefits for children who are given the time and space to play.

Plus, play nurtures children's creativity!

Our understanding of play calls on three main factors. To us, play is:


the child has freedom of choice and actively makes decisions


the child has freedom of use and defines the purpose and topic of their play


the child has freedom of purpose and uses critical thinking skills allowing them to create their own context for play

When play is selected, initiated, and directed by the child, there are countless opportunities for them to express and develop their creativity.

  • What will they choose to play with?

  • What will those items represent?

    • this is especially apparent when playing with Loose Parts!

  • Where will the play take place?

  • How will they use their bodies?

  • What will they say? What sounds will they make?

  • Where will the play go? How long will it last?

  • Who will they include in their play? What will those interactions look and sound like?

The sheer volume of decisions a child gets to make during play is incredible. Each time a child plays, they get to choose materials, places, roles, sounds, and partners that speak to them - whether they are familiar with it, curious about it, or discovering it.

When play is self-directed (meaning the play is following the lead of the CHILD, not the adult) they are able to express their thoughts, ideas, and wonderings in ways that are otherwise limited when an adult interferes with the play process.

This is what we know to be purposeful play.

“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.” - Abraham Maslow

Next time you’re with your child or students, think about taking a step back from their play.

Let them choose which materials they’d like to use.

Let them decide what those materials represent.

Let them decide what role to take on and what to say.

All of those decisions are a child’s creativity, rooted in purposefulness.

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