Creative Thinking Exercises

Amazing Thinking Exercises to Unleash Your Endless Creativity

Creative thinking exercises are a means to inculcate "originality", "imagination" and "problem solving" skills in a person. Read on for some effective exercises...
MissionSelf Staff
Last Updated: Jun 13, 2018
Little girl thinking
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up"...Pablo Picasso
Have you ever thought what does it mean to think creatively? Well, there is not a single definition that is apt to define creativity. Creativity can be defined as a way to look at things differently and a way to look at different things.
Thinking "out of box", being aware and original, understanding how thought processes work and finding multiple solutions to a given problem, are some of the positive effects of creative thinking.
Looking at these positives, it's very important that creativity is inculcated and developed right from one's childhood, although it's never too late to start and one can work on being creative at any age. So if you are looking for some effective creative thinking exercises for all ages, just read on to find some really effective ones.
Think "Out of Box"
To conduct this activity, place a huge box in the middle of the class room. Ask one of the students to stand in that box and take a deep breath, close his eyes and visualize how he looks at the world around him, his ideals. Give him a few minutes and then ask him to open his eyes and leave whatever he just thought of behind him and step out of the box.
Many students will find this whole exercise funny and ridiculous. This is where you explain them that no idea or thought should be termed as "ridiculous", just because it is out of the ordinary or it has never been thought of before. So, by undertaking this "out of box" activity, you are literally asking the students to think different, to think unusual.
Find the Answers
Preschool teacher questioning children in classroom
To conduct this activity, ask the group questions which make them think. Some examples of questions that improve abstract thinking are - "Come up with a list of things that are blue in color", "What all are the possible uses of a piece of white cloth?",
"When you think of the color green, what all emotions it invokes in you", "When a person is happy, what kind of emotions does he feel?", "What would happen if the rainwater color turns to purple one day?" In short, let the people's imagination run wild!
Positive, Negative and Interesting
Volunteer teacher reading to a class of preschool kids
To encourage creativity, lateral thinking i.e. to think of an idea from all angles is essential. Here's an exercise to stimulate it. Think of a theme. Ask the group to think of one positive, one negative and one interesting thing about that theme.
For example, if the theme is "high population", its positive point can be that it keeps the labor cost down, negative can be unemployment and poverty, interesting can be that it gives one a sense of security. Likewise, give a number of themes to the group and ask the participants to look at the theme from various perspectives.
What do the Shapes Say?
Little girl painting picture
One of the exercises that can be done at home or in class is to draw a particular shape on a piece of paper, such as a circle or a square and then ask the children to come up with possible names for that shape.
They are very proud of their works
It can be anything such as a sun or a ball in case of a circle and a chocolate or a lunch box in case of a square. The children then have to proceed on to tell the uses of each of these things. This makes the children think out of box as well as is ideal for brainstorming.
Other effective exercises are - Reading out a story to a group minus the end and then asking different individuals to come up with their own "perfect ending", planning creative sessions wherein each member of the group gets a chance to exhibit his talent, be it playing a musical instrument, writing stories, or painting.
Creativity exercises, such as these, are a good way to rekindle a person's imagination and instilling originality in him. When it comes to developing creativity, unlearning what one has learned is the key!