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The following are some of our favourite creativity games for use within workshops. They are a fantastic way to put general creative skills into action and bring learning to life. They also work wonders for teambuilding.


All games featured here require practical creative thinking techniques and can be played as part of training and development. Many can also be adapted as a fun way to explore specific challenges. More games will be added here every so often so remember to check back.

Creativity Games

Stick ‘em Up


Object: In teams, the object is to build the tallest tower made from lollipop sticks and blutack.

The Creative Challenge: The competitive element will mean different techniques and various attempts will need to be explored in order to make the better progress. This often means breaking assumptions and finding very creative building methods.

Creativity Lessons: Challenging assumptions; learning from failure; finding alternatives; teamwork.

Picture a Story


Object: Participants will tear out pictures from magazines then 6 will be selected at random. These pictures must then be arranged in any order to tell an interesting story that connects each image.

The Creative Challenge: Finding connections between random images to produce a coherent story takes lots of creative imagination.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; using visual stimuli.

Do... As...


Object: This game is about reinterpreting familiar subjects  by presenting them in a far removed and obscure context. A subject randomly taken from the ‘do’ pile has to be presented in a method randomly taken from the ‘as’ pile. This causes an unexpected clash of context, usually ending in hilarious results.

The Creative Challenge: Presenting a familiar subject in a very unusual way requires a lot of inventiveness, especially when faced with the constraints of working without communication methods normally taken for granted.

Creativity Lessons: Overcoming constraints; making new connections; challenging assumptions; finding alternative ways.


Here are some examples of what you might have to Do... As...


 

Aliens Have Landed!


Object: Aliens have landed and it’s up to you as a welcoming committee to tell them about life on Earth. Of course aliens do not speak our language!

The Creative Challenge: Participants will need to find alternative ways of communicating a welcome message, whether it be through actions, drawings, use of images etc.

Creativity Lessons: Overcoming constraints; finding alternative ways; teamwork; using visual stimuli.

Eyes and Ears


Object: Pairs sit back to back and one has to draw the object the other is describing from a picture cue card. This requires creative communication, especially as key words relating to the object will be banned!

The Creative Challenge: Drawing an object from just the description requires strong communication skills. Techniques will be honed with each round as participants learn from their previous mistakes.

Creativity Lessons: Overcoming constraints; managing ambiguity; making new connections; learning from failure; finding alternative ways; teamwork.

New & Improved


Object: Participants will be split into 2 groups. Each will pick either a familiar concept or an object at random from separate boxes. They will then be asked to find a partner from the other group in order that a concept is matched with an object. The aim is then to come up with an improved or new concept by exploring inventive connections with the object. 

The Creative Challenge: Forcing connections encourages new combinations and ideas that wouldn’t have come about otherwise. This will test inventive powers in a fun way.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; challenging assumptions; finding alternative ways; using visual stimuli.

Is it a Bird, is it a Plane?


Object: Using a box of common objects, individuals will be asked to pick one at random then find inventive uses for it, beyond what it is designed to do. It’s all about quantity over quality and very silly uses are more than welcome!

The Creative Challenge: Extracting features and functions and applying them to new effect is a core creative competency.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; challenging assumptions; finding alternative ways; using visual stimuli.

Mental Blocks


Object: Participants are given a pile of building blocks and other interesting objects and asked to build a concept that isn’t easy to describe in words e.g. what you like most and least about work/school; how to achieve your goals in life; how you would make the world a better place.

The Creative Challenge: Using the power of visual metaphor to explore abstract/complex concepts and engage the brain in a different way.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; overcoming constraints; using visual stimuli.

Re-expression Whispers


Object: A problem statement is whispered to the first person, then in turn, each person has to find a way of re-expressing the problem stated to them. We’ll see how far we diverge from the original statement and what other interesting angles are generated.

The Creative Challenge: If you’re not solving the right challenge, you could be wandering down a misguided path. Re-expression is a simple technique to look at your challenge from multiple angles.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; finding alternative ways; challenging assumptions.

Do Be Daft!


Object: Everyone has to come up with the silliest idea for an open ended challenge provided. This is a game in itself but the real task is to extract positive aspects and useful concepts in order to narrow in on a more practical solution.

The Creative Challenge: Silly ideas often have useful themes and concepts that can act as a springboard to new thoughts and ideas. Learning how to harness these is a very useful creativity skill.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; finding alternatives; challenging assumptions; overcoming constraints.

The Name Game


Object: Each person in turn has to name a celebrity/historical figure/cartoon character etc. in alphabetical order of their name. Next individuals will have to generate ideas to solve an example problem by stepping into the mindset of the character that shares the same initial as their own surname.

The Creative Challenge: Our perceptions can strongly influence how we think.  But by allowing ourselves to step into different mindsets, we are able to release more of our creative potential.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; finding alternatives; challenging assumptions; overcoming constraints.


For example, how would Neil Armstrong, Yogi Bear and Charlie Chaplin (and so on) solve your challenge?!



 

I Did it My Way


Object: We take a selection of commonly known products/services and the challenge is to come up with a brand new invention that achieves the same core function but in a different way.

The Creative Challenge: This involves creative design thinking whereby concepts, themes and functions will need to be extracted then rearranged to generate a different result.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; creative design; finding alternatives; overcoming constraints.

Ideas Poker


Object: In a group, brainstorm ideas for a particular challenge, with each idea written down on a separate index card. You then collect all ideas in a pack and each player is dealt 2 cards. Then similar to the way you’d play Texas Hold Em, you play 3 rounds, each time with a card from the pack being dealt into the middle.

During each round, players have to try and find ways of connecting the ideas or elements of ideas to form a new idea. So as the 3 rounds progress, there become more options for new connections.

Once the 3 rounds are over, you can score the game based on the ‘hands’ people have managed to invent. Each player will describe which idea cards they have used to connect their new idea together. The scoring system is based on poker hands. This rewards the players' ability to make multiple new connections.

Note: Make sure you capture all ideas. Even though you may not get a winning hand through the number of connections, you may still come up with some great ideas in the process.

The Creative Challenge: Being able to create new value by harnessing the mutiple attributes and benefits of separate individual ideas. Ideas Poker is a great way of communally combining ideas and harnessing all the brain power from a group that’s working on the same solution

Creativity Lessons: New connections; breaking routine; creative design.

 

Useless Inventions


Object: Participants will randomly select common objects then be asked to fundamentally change/reverse the obvious functions and benefits in order to produce a reinvention of the object that seems very contradictory to existing logic e.g. phone that doesn’t ring; an inflatable anchor; a book on how to read!  They must then find a scenario where their new invention might actually serve a useful purpose.

The Creative Challenge: The challenge is to first reverse the perspective then ask who could benefit from the invention or in what context would it be useful.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; reversing the perspective; creative design; finding alternatives; overcoming constraints.

What if We..?


Object: Here we take a familiar object or concept and take it completely out of whack by asking some radical questions and exploring the potential repurcussions and new thought avenues.

The Creative Challenge: Asking ‘What if?’ is key to creative imagination and provokes us out of our established thinking patterns. Participants must be prepared to have an open mind and explore very unexpected and often silly outcomes.

Creativity Lessons: Making new connections; reversing the perspective; creative design; finding alternatives; overcoming constraints.

New Cliche


Object: Participants will be given a selection of cliches, familiar phrases and proverbs and the object is restate them with an unexpected and often humorous twist.

The Creative Challenge: This will force people to break free from the deeply routed associations that cliches bring and also challenge the assumptions on which those associations are based.

Creativity Lessons: Challenging assumptions; breaking routine; reversing the perspective; finding alternatives.

Lesson from Nature (Coming Soon!)


Object:

The Creative Challenge:

Creativity Lessons:

Animals on the Underground


Object: Inspired by the website www.animalsontheunderground.com the object is to join up stations and underground routes to create animal shapes. A very playful activity but will get the brain whirring away looking for new patterns. And we’re not just limited to London; there are all sorts of interesting subway maps out there!

The Creative Challenge: This is all about being able to establish new connections to create something new and break down the obvious patterns we see in front of us.

Creativity Lessons: New connections; finding alternatives; creative design; using visual stimuli.