The role of aesthetic curiosity in the manipulation of materials is often ignored or considered irrelevant in most science curricula. Contemporary practice in curriculum design emphasizes an approach that views science and art as separate types of explorations. Some historians of technology and science suggest that basic discoveries arise out of an aesthetic curiosity fostered by play with materials or ideas. Experience with certain familiar materials of aesthetic interest suggest that children will sustain play for long periods and easily mix metaphors of art and science in developing an understanding of the phenomena that are a part of the experience. Several examples are given of how this might be accomplished.