For many of us, “play” evokes mindless childlike freedom, lack of stress, and even nonsensical or immature behavior, but it’s much more than that. In many cultures, play has been an expected part of the human experience throughout adulthood. Play is voluntary and imaginative, appearing in many forms, from physical games with structured rules to language games, sports, improvised collaboration, and fantasy play. Whether simply expressing exuberant joy at life, developing particular physical and mental skills, exploring social boundaries and relationships, or providing an outlet for normally restricted behaviors, play is a crucial part of human development. We suffer as children if our unstructured play time is limited, and we suffer as adults if we ignore this crucial expression of our human experience.

Deep Play

With A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman let her free-ranging intellect loose on the natural world. Now in Deep Play she tackles the realm of creativity, by exploring one of the most essential aspects of our characters: the ability to play.

Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

We’ve all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr.

The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart

In the Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart, Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, draws from her remarkable teaching experience to help readers reach out into ever-broadening creative horizons.

The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World

What are the aerodynamics of skipping stones or the physics of making sandcastles? Do birds use GPS to navigate their migratory routes? In this book, Dr.

The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing, and Joy

At forty-two, Joan Stanford―a busy mother, innkeeper―discovered, to her surprise and delight, a creative process for insight and healing that allowed even her, a self-proclaimed “non-artist,” to start making art.

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World

This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change.

Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind

Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research and Carolyn Gregoire’s popular article in the Huffington Post, Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people.


The information offered here is not a substitute for professional advice. Please proceed with care and caution.


Imagination and Creativity