That's right: chew them, throw them, see if they stick to the wall or slide down. Step on them, mush them, ball them up and sit on them. Like a toddler who plays with his food, we should play with our words, smear them around and taste them.
I finished The Book Thief a few days ago and all I can say is wow, wow, wow. Both from both a reader's and writer's perspective.
His writing was fresh and intriguing. Vivid. I noticed Zusak constantly attributed human actions to nonliving things. Of course I had to look him up. I found this interview and think it's worth watching, especially his thoughts on writing at the end (3min52sec).
He's the one who's now encouraging me to play with my words.
Do you play with your words? Or are you constantly reaching for a napkin?