Spark Creative Thinking


Perhaps the most obvious benefit of playing is that it increases a child’s creativity.
Creativity is closely tied to divergent thinking, which explores many possible solutions and typically generates creative ideas. Many studies have found that playing is highly associated with divergent thinking. To test this association in a study, researchers randomly assigned 52 children, aged six to seven, to two activities. In the first activity, the children copied text from a chalkboard. In the second, the children played with salt-dough.
Later, all the children were asked to perform a creative project. A panel of ten judges found that the projects created by the children in the salt-dough group had higher creative qualities than those in the other group. Other studies have also associated free play, especially pretend-play, with significant improvement in divergent thinking. Free play is unstructured play that encourages children to explore and design their own games. Pretend play requires a child to imagine scenarios and then act them out. The freedom of these types of playing allows children to be creative. Imagination fuels creativity and some studies have also found that creative adolescents tend to have had imaginary friends in childhood.
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