Creative thinking is a skill everyone should have! Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough practice at it. There are tons of creative thinking activities you can do at home.
Our busy lives are filled with work and family obligations, leaving little time for creative exploration. We all know how important creativity is to success in life, but it can be hard to find the time or energy to cultivate these skills on our own.
Creativity is a subject that fascinates many people. It has always been an essential part of our lives, but it seems more relevant now than ever before. With the increasing need for innovation in today’s society, creativity becomes more and more valuable. Below you’ll find tons of ways to increase your creative thinking skills, including activities for both kids and adults alike!
what is creative thinking?
Creative thinking is a way of using imagination to develop new, unusual or ingenious ideas. It involves imaginative thinking as well as fluency and flexibility in generating these thoughts. It provides a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us by encouraging us to use our creativity to make sense of different scenarios.
Creative thinking is 100% a skill that can be learned, and it’s one of the most important skills for success in life. It helps us solve problems, think outside the box, and come up with new ideas.
But many children aren’t given enough opportunities to develop their creativity!
examples of creative thinking
One example of creative thinking is using your imagination to come up with innovative ideas. For example, you can see this at work in children’s drawings, where they’re able to create things that most adults would never think of drawing on their own.
Another example of creative thinking is brainstorming. Brainstorming is when you come up with as many ideas as possible around a specific topic (e.g., how can I make my science project more exciting? What are some creative ways to solve this math problem?).
An additional example of high creativity involves being open to something different from what you are used to, such as trying an alternative way to get somewhere instead of taking your usual route. Imagine how many more experiences and adventures life could hold if everyone were open-minded about new ways of doing old activities!
15 creative thinking activities for adults & kids
1. draw a story
The goal in this game is for each person (typically, one child with one adult) to draw something but give clues about what story they’re telling through their art to the person next to them.
For example, a child might draw a face and tell his friend, “This is someone who feels sad.”
That friend then draws an umbrella for that character and says, “This makes him happy!”
The first player now has clues about what the second player drew, so he draws something that makes sense with the clues he was given. And so on.
2. pretend you are an animal
Pretending you are an animal is a great way to boost creative thinking because many animals have abilities that humans do not.
For example, elephants can use their trunks as snorkels, allowing them to breathe underwater for up to 30 minutes! They also can long-distance travel via infrasound, meaning they communicate over long distances by rumbling at a frequency too low for people to hear.
3. find shapes in nature
Look for circles, squares, and triangles. Find patterns of leaves on the ground or a tree. Boost creative thinking by noticing shapes and patterns in the world around you.
4. design your own game or invention
One way to foster creative thinking skills is by encouraging your child to be an inventor or game designer. You can create a game board out of cardboard and use markers, stickers, etc. Get some dice and let them create their own rules for the games they want to play. They’ll love this activity!
5. design your own world by making a map or cityscape
Design your own world (make a map) or cityscape (draw a picture) of what you think the world might look like in 100 years. Imagine that it is now 50,000 BC, and you are an early human living on Earth. Draw some pictures to show how life would be different than today’s lifestyle for early humans.
6. play with bubble wrap, modeling clay, or sidewalk chalk
Play with bubble wrap, sidewalk chalk, or modeling clay to see what new things you can create. Explore the possibilities of a piece of paper by drawing, folding it into origami shapes, or tearing it up and using it to decorate an item such as a lampshade.
Remember, this is just for fun! Don’t stress out about following directions exactly or getting things perfect. If you mess up, that’s okay…
7. make an art project using a new material or technique
Thinking outside the box helps problem-solving by allowing for a new perspective. Make your own art project using a new material or technique. For example, paint with a sock!
8. create a story by taking photos
Create a story by taking photos of people’s faces and adding captions to show what they think or feel. Take a picture of yourself doing a funny pose and ask your friends to guess what you are trying to do.
9. play improv games
Play improv games with prompts like “The Art of the Story” or “Humans, not Human Beings.” The goal in both games is to get a partner to tell a story by only using dialogue and actions. Improv encourages creativity by forcing kids to think and react in ways they normally wouldn’t.
10. write a chain story with a partner
Write a chain story with a partner. Chain stories are a creative way to write collaboratively. Students take turns writing a sentence and the person next to them continues the story with their own sentence. The result can be hilarious or frustrating, but students love it because they get immediate feedback on their work! See: Want to Spark Your Child’s Creativity? Try a Chain Story
11. paint blindfolded
You won’t know what color you are using for your painting. Have a partner help you through the process of making a simple painting. Follow their instructions on how to paint!
12. if you are right-handed, use your left hand (and vice versa)
This will help to rewire the brain and promote creative thinking! Use the opposite hand for the day.
Be open-minded when it comes to this exercise. You might find yourself thinking about things differently than you would typically with that hand or arm. As a parent or caregiver, encourage your child by asking questions to help them think creatively. For example, ask your child what they would like you to do with the opposite hand today (for instance, “What should I use my left hand for?”).
13. take something apart and put it back together
What can you learn from taking something apart? How about taking apart a tricycle and turning the pedals into a music box. Or perhaps you could build an entire fire truck out of Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, duct tape, and some aluminum foil that can spray water when needed?
14. make a flipbook
A flipbook is a book with sequential drawings that show different stages of action when the pages are flipped quickly. Flipbooks can be made by drawing on paper and then folding them over to create “pages” in your book.
You will need paper, pencils, and scissors. You can also use a color printer to make your flipbook more attractive. To start drawing, you must first decide on the plot of your book, write it down, and draw some rough sketches (characters, backgrounds, etc.). Start with an outline, and then begin adding details to your characters. Once you have written the story and drawn some sketches, cut out all pages and assemble them into a book.
15. bedazzle something
Bedazzling is the process of adding sparkles, sequins, or glitter to something with glue. It’s easy enough for kids to do!
You might want to start by gluing your items onto the surface. Use a thin line of glue around the edge and then sprinkle glitter on top to create that wow factor!
And remember, practice makes perfect. It will be fun for everyone!
Need something more challenging? Try using rhinestones instead of sequins or glitter next time you want to bed.
ideas to boost your child’s creativity
Here are five things you can do to boost your child’s creativity:
- Encourage your child to do a creative activity of their choice, not yours.
- Encourage your child to find a creative outlet that reflects their interests and skills.
- Get out in nature! Hiking, camping, climbing, taking a walk – choose an outdoor activity that you both enjoy and share it.
- Read together! Find books with topics that interest your child or create their own book with paint or collage materials.
- Draw together! Teach your child how to draw using tracing paper and crayons to create an original work of art.
Five games that boost creative thinking
The following family games boost creative thinking skills! Click the images to learn more…
Creative thinking is a skill that can be learned through practice. It’s never too late to start! In this post, we explored 15 creative activities for adults and kids. We also included five bonus ways you can boost your child’s creativity, as well as some games that promote creative thinking! If you’re looking for more reading and writing inspiration, subscribe to my email list,