A key part of creativity is experimentation and practice with others. Playing brings us that opportunity and helps better understand what we are good at and practice what can be further improved. We often run into mental roadblocks while trying to be creative on-demand. The ideas freeze up when they are feel most needed or when there are recognized high stakes and deadlines. A few tips to quickly to get the mind going and reduce the mental sticking include doodling, playing with toys, and doing improvisation or role playing with someone nearby. Getting active and physically moving to help the brain get more active is the goal. All of the activities above help do that but also shift the focus from a work task to a reflective, collaborative, or other creative goal that engages us in projecting what is possible. Working to expand the number of places in which we are able to play gives the practice needed to turn on those parts of our mind as environments change, an especially useful skill when creativity is demanded in places beyond our choosing.
A playful disposition can turn confrontations upside down and into learning moments. MacGyver, for example, runs into many tight situations but with quick thinking is able to find and solve problems peacefully. Working with others to play out possible problems is always relevant. The roles in the games of Doctor and House played in youth became more complicated but the practice early helped connect us to the approaches possible in the actual roles to come. There are countless situations in which we can place ourselves that demand creative thinking. A world where cars, buses, and trains randomly start to float. A place umbrellas are the only place under which there can be rain or one where all doors melted for twenty minutes across the world. Try doodling a quick comic strip sketch of responses to a strange situation that comes to mind.