Converging evidence suggests that pretend play in childhood has an important role in providing a foundation for adult creativity. Indeed, many of the processes central to creativity occur in pretend play.
In this book, Sandra W. Russ reviews the theory and research on pretend play and creativity, including cognitive and affective processes involved in play and creativity, possible evolutionary purposes of play, and its cultural variations. In particular, she highlights the importance of pretend play in helping children to access emotional memories and fantasies. She explains how creative processes in play can be measured using the Affect in Play Scale, which she developed and is included in the volume. Additionally, she describes play interventions designed to encourage creativity in children, with transcripts of sessions from a pilot intervention.
Brief case studies of creative adult scientists and artists are also presented, illustrating similarities in play processes and creative processes in adulthood.
Given the need for highly developed creativity in science, engineering, and the arts, the link between pretend play and creativity is important to explore. This book explores what we know about the topic and how researchers might approach future studies in this area.