Sparks of Genius: Playing

Sparks of Genius: Playing


Students will understand the importance of play and how it helps to develop ideas and expand creativity.  It will allow them to see things differently without worrying about constraints, guidelines, and rules so that ideas can flow freely.

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Play Can Bring About Greatness

Did you know that penicillin was created by accident?  Medical researcher, Alexander Fleming, found a way to create unique paintings by growing different forms of bacteria in the outline of images using petri dishes as his canvas.

Bacteria Art by Alexander Fleming


Play As Entertainment

Playing can help to pass time and build relationships with others.  Think about times when you play with others, such as in sports, clubs, or just in your spare time at home.  These activities help to develop opportunity, creativity, thought processes, and challenges.  

Alexander Calder was a sculpture artist that found play in his work through performing with his small sculpture circus that he would carry around in a suitcase.  He would sit on the floor, much like a child, and show off his moveable structures in small performances for friends.

Activities to Help Unleash Your Creativity

  • Working with a new material/media?
    • Explore: try it out on different surfaces, touch it with your bare hands to feel its texture, mix it with familiar materials, keep experimenting and document in a sketchbook. 
  • Take a step back in time
    • What did you enjoy as a kid? Coloring, building forts, hide-and-seek, etc?  Get some friends together and engage in these activities from your past.
  • Have broken clocks, radios, etc. at home?
    • Open them up, take them apart, try to fix them, or just put them back together.  
  • Explore familiar areas like new again
    • Go for a walk around your neighborhood and try to see things like a kid again, take a camera or sketchbook to document interesting details that you did not notice before.