There are many who claim that people are born with critical and creative thinking skills; others, though, insist that these skills can be taught and improved with the right activities. And these activities do not have to be confined to the classroom. There are plenty of games and other activities that can be done at home or even on the go.
By engaging in games that boost your creative thinking, you can combine boosting cognitive skills with fun. Do you want to know which activities can help you achieve that? Here are five of them.
Here is a board game that requires strategic planning, critical thinking, and, yes, even some creativity, as moves are planned. Chess is a well-known game and a highly praised exercise for the brain.
Playing chess will inspire your originality and activate the right hemisphere of your brain which is responsible for creative thinking. One study that lasted four years focused on identifying the activity that fosters the most growth in creative thinking. They had students from grades 7 to 9 to play chess, use computers, and engage in other activities once a week for 32 weeks. The results showed that the students who played chess scored higher in all measures of creativity. Their biggest area of gain proved to be originality.
This is a card game that also exercises brain functions of strategy and critical thinking. Players in bridge need to use visualization, memory, and sequencing. Mentally challenging games such as this one offer creative, intellectual, and social stimulation.
The Welsh Bridge Union reported, “Bridge is more than just an enjoyable pastime. Scientific studies have shown that playing bridge has demonstrable benefits for mental fitness and brain health.” Amanda Sully, a passionate bridge player and writer at Top Essay Writing and Best Essays Education agrees with that. She said, “Since I started playing bridge I have noticed that my creativity and memory have improved. I work as a writer so creativity is a big part of my life. I highly recommend bridge to anyone who wants to keep their brain active and creative.”
3. Creating Art from Common Objects
Create a piece of art or a defined structure from common objects. Place common objects on a table – paper clips, toothpicks, buttons, string, paper, etc. and ask participants to create a unique sculpture or a pre-defined object, perhaps a car or a house. Considering that participants have to use limited objects to make something, they will have to boost their level of creativity to the maximum.
The transformation of common objects into art evokes your originality, motivates your resourcefulness, and lets you express yourself freely. Showcasing your art and looking at what others made will create a fun atmosphere. The participants will be able to separate themselves from the mundanity of everyday life and let their creativity out.
Lego is mostly considered a children’s game but people of all ages can enjoy it. Its main objective is to boost creativity so whether the participants are 7 or 77 they can benefit from it. Again, ask participants to build unique structures with pre-defined specifications as you wish.
Lego’s research showed that 87% of people claim that construction games such as Lego help them be more creative, 93% said that it helps their children be more creative, and 94% of them claimed that it stimulates the imagination. Aside from boosting your creative thinking and imagination, Lego also positively affects the following:
- problem-solving and mathematical thinking
- communication skills
- lateral thinking
- planning skills
- lowering anxiety and stress
- focus and concentration
5. Online Games
While some people believe that most online games are only for entertainment, many actually “force” critical thinking and creativity. There are numerous online games that will provide you with “quality time” and engaged creativity. Here are some examples. Minecraft and Sim City require that gamers create their cities. The ability to create your own world from scratch will let your imagination and self-expression flow.
Scribblenauts requires that players create new items and use them to solve puzzles. There are also Subjecto flashcards or quiz to test your knowledge on the desired subject and similar. You can take your pick and find an online game that will combine your interests and enhance your creative and cognitive skills.
These are just five opportunities to boost critical thought and creativity, but all are proven. What’s more? They’re fun! Seize this opportunity to improve your cognitive thinking and enjoy that process.
Let the games begin.
Not to mention that most of these games include multiple participants so you’ll have a chance to build better relationships with people around you. Gather your friends and family, sharpen your mind, and let the games begin.
Cover: Xavi Cabrera