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Creativity in children as play and humour: Indicators of affective processes of creativity

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The purpose of the article is to clarify the relation between play and creativity and to develop a theoretical framework on understanding children's creativity as play that can be used in future research. This focus is motivated by an apparent paradox in research on play and creativity. In play research, play tends to be idealized as children's natural way of being creative, whereas in creativity research, play tends to be ignored. Building on the theory of the four stages of the creative process, the article attempts to determine the specific nature, process and product of play as creativity. The enquiry suggests that play is a type of creativity similar to humour in that the creative combination in both is characterized by an evanescent collision. Furthermore, it is argued that play can be conceived as ‘humour with action’; that its creative product is a combination that is both imaginative and funny; and that its creative process is characterized by a shift in positive moods from cheerfulness in the incubation stage to enthusiasm in the illumination stage. The enquiry suggests that future research needs to focus on the affective indicators of the creative process of play.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100784
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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