Play and fun are essential to exploratory learning. If you’re going to discover something new you need to be willing to make mistakes, to mess up, to try something silly. These are natural side effects of play.
For me this means building things for the joy of building. I created a website that fetches tweets to generate a grid of colors. What’s the point of this site? I don’t know and that’s alright. Yes, I learned things about the Twitter API and about Svelte but the point was to build, like building a castle with legos just because you can.