To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Creative writing, whether in literature or science, may well seem like an enjoyable pastime to its readers, but it most certainly involves hard work, intense concentration, and periods of uncertainty and blockage for even the most productive of its practitioners. No wonder the ancient Greeks and Romans called on specific deities or immortals like the Muses to guide them past inevitable hesitancies into more freely flowing streams of thought. Even the Christian poet Dante sought the aid of the pagan epic poet Virgil as his leader through his literary traversal of the realms of the afterlife. Such breakthroughs into creative production often come about through vivid daytime fantasies or suggestive night dreams that we now can recognize are natural human occurrences and not necessarily visitations from Olympian deities.
Many anecdotal reports by creative scientists, artists, and writers suggest that periods of creative impasse can be terminated by the occurrence of vivid day or night dreams (Garfield, 1974; Shepard, 1978; Singer, 1975, 2004). Albert Einstein described how his waking fantasies of himself or some alter ego traveling through space at the speed of light and then picturing the consequences of such actions opened the way for his development of his theory of relativity. Niels Bohr described how learning of his son's involvement in an act of petty thievery led to his trying to reconcile his nearly simultaneous feelings of anger and disappointment about the boy with his fatherly feelings of love and protectiveness.
In his intriguing account of a possible way in which human consciousness may have evolved, the philosopher Daniel Dennett has written:
our ancestors, like us, took pleasure in various modes of undirected self-exploration – stimulating oneself over and over again and seeing what happened. Because of the plasticity of the brain, coupled with the innate restlessness and curiosity that lead us to explore every nook and cranny of our environment … it is not surprising that we hit upon strategies of self-stimulation or self-manipulation that led to the inculcation of habits and dispositions that radically altered the internal communicative structure of our brains, and that these discoveries became part of the culture – memes – that were then made available to all.
(Dennett, 1991, p. 209)
I cite this evolutionary notion because I propose that children's play, with its repetitive and exploratory characteristics, represents not only fun but a critically important feature of their development of cognitive and emotional skills. Considering the various forms play takes, it is easy to identify the possible value of sensorimotor games for enhancing physical skills and even of games with rules for modeling early forms of orderly thought or even morality.
The value of pretending and of make-believe play seems less obvious; indeed, many parents are uncomfortable when they watch their toddlers or preschoolers pushing blocks and toy figures around while talking out loud to themselves.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.