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Creative Thinking Games

Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
Being creative means being original! Creativity can be developed, though some are born with it. Try out these creative thinking games to train the creative sinews of your mind and flex those muscles of creativity to have fun besides coming up with maverick fixes for conventional breakdowns!
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~ Scott Adams
There is a reason behind human life being full of challenges. The reason is to exercise the human brain and open the windows of human imagination so that the human brain, logic, thinking and problem-solving capabilities soar to greater heights in agreement with nature's evolutionary instrument.
Everyone of us have some amount of creativity and originality locked within us - the degree of creativity possessed by an individual only depends upon how ready a person is to stray from the metalled road of conventions to explore the untrodden pastures of imagination and individuality.
While some are born with a good deal of openness to acknowledge and embrace the unusual approach, most people can learn to unshackle their subconscious mind from the fetters of convention and let their imaginations soar!
Creativity exercises are such keys which are designed to draw the creative mind out of its shell and impart the brilliance of originality to a person. Let us take a look at some very interesting activities and exercises which are helpful and very effective in oiling and overhauling the creative engine of the human mind!

Interesting Creative Thinking Games

Check out the following activities that are a great way to have fun in a group. These games can also double up as group ice-breakers at offices and can be incorporated alongside training courses on creative problem solving.

Relating Words

In this game, there is a set of four to six words (depending upon difficulty level) and you have to think of an additional word which would relate to all the previous words in such a way that they make sense when used in conjunction with the single new word.
If there are four words, you must think up a fifth word which, when used in combination with each of the four given words, would make sense. For instance, let the four given words be bugs, post, cover and sheet. The fifth word could be bed because if you use bed with each of these words, you'll get the following:-

bedbugs, bedpost, bed cover and bed sheet.

Nature Inspires Human Inventions

There are two lists, one list with the names of animals and the other list with the names of man-made inventions. The players should match the animal with the invention which is the closest or most closely inspired from it. For example:-

Animal List: Bat, Flying Squirrel, Hummingbird, Chameleon
Invention List: Radar, Parachute, Helicopter, Camouflage,
This is one of the most interesting creative thinking exercises for kids as it helps them relate nature with science and appreciate the inspiration nature has provided man for getting ahead in technology. This also instills a respect for nature in kids.
If introduced in school curriculum, this type of games nurture and encourage creativity in the classroom which contribute towards imparting brilliance to students personalities in their coming lives.

Creative Problem Solving

These creativity games are aimed at developing creative problem solving faculties by compelling the players to think out of the box. There are many variants of these games and most of these are often played as rapport building office games.
The most popular variant involves joining nine dots, drawn in a 3*3 matrix, with just one line, without lifting the pen/pencil from the paper/drawing surface. Another variant requires drawing a square that has two diagonals drawn (from corner to corner) such that they intersect to form a cross.
The catch is that you have to draw the square and the cross without lifting your pencil/pen and without overwriting any of the previously drawn lines. These exercises serve as excellent critical thinking exercises for children as well as grown ups.

Word Springs Sentences

Take a short word and expand it into several sentences using each letter of the word as the first word of each letter of each sentence. Confused? Here's an example:-

Word:- Damn
Sentences:- Dad Ate Many Nuts, Do Ants Make Noise, Did Adam Marry Nina, Draft All Major Notes...... and so on.
This one's among the excellent critical thinking exercises for kids as well as adults that help develop fluent thinking and linguistic dexterity.

Brand/Product Personification

These are some of the most interesting group games that encourage you to think creatively. Here, you are required to name a brand or product and imagine what kind of personality it would have, were it to become human. For instance, the Dove soap. The product promises purity with a strong approach towards insisting upon getting the best for one's skin.
If a bar of Dove soap would be a human being, what kind of personality would it have? Let's see:-
  • Strong, independent working woman
  • Likes to pamper and indulge herself
  • Stickler for sincerity
  • Values tenderness and sensitivity at the same time
  • Likes to wear soft, pastel colors
  • Her clothes are comfortable with sophisticated fits
  • Comfortable with herself.
Those were some good and interesting creative thinking activities for individuals, groups, as well as for kids. Another great exercise is to ask and try to answer quirky questions that make you think, such as: If vegetarians are so considerate of animals, why do they eat up all their food? 
Besides introducing an element of fun in any informal or interactive group atmosphere, these games tickle the right side of our brains and stimulate the creative nerve that is present in each one of us!