3 Exercises To Improve Your Creative Thinking Skills

Published by 35 Comments

Hi there, this week’s article is going to be very brief. Instead of lots of words, I’m going to give you three creativity exercises, so you can do some brain training and test yourself on your creative thinking skills.

Creativity Exercise 1

Click on the image to download the exercise.

The first creativity exercise was mentioned in one of the TED talks last week. Tim Brown spoke about it in his talk on creativity and play. I believe the exercise came from Bob McKim, a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University who spent a lot of time researching creativity in the 60′s and 70′s. The idea is to draw as many different pictures using the circles as you can in one minute only. I’m not going to give you the post exercise tips and insights until next week, so that I don’t affect how you do the exercise.

Creativity Exercise 2

Click on the image to download the exercise.

The second creativity exercise is my own made up one, well it’s not really mine! When I was a kid, we had this TV show called Mr. Squiggle. We didn’t have TV, but when we left the property and went on holidays, we got to see shows like this. Mr Squiggle was a pretty weird character, in fact, a lot of kids TV show characters were when I think about it. I think the creators must have been pretty tripped out characters themselves.

Anyway, children would send in scribbles or squiggles into the show. Mr Squiggle was a puppet and would use the long pencil he had for a nose to turn the children’s scribbles into pictures. I used to do scribbles of my own and then find ways to turn them into something. So the idea is to turn these random lines into a cartoon drawing of something. There’s no time limit, I think it’s actually quite a tricky scribble to work with, but I’m sure you will be great, just have some fun with it!

You Were A Natural At Creativity When You Were Little

The last creativity exercise is also my own made up one. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. A lot of talk about creativity keeps focusing on children and how abundantly creative they are, and how this is missed or messed up by adults and schooling. This last activity comes from something I did as a child, and the story sums up how creative a child’s mind is, and how adults can be completely oblivious to it.

When I was very little, I think I may have only been about three years old, my parents were holding a party at our place. Of course, this was the perfect opportunity to busy myself with something creative that would not have been allowed if anyone was watching. I know I had a side kick, I don’t know if it was my younger sister or a visiting child. Anyway, we took several packets of matches into the bathroom.

Now, as soon as you read matches, you’ll probably think the worst. But here’s the thing, I don’t think I even knew how to light matches or understood what they were really for. I didn’t spark up anything. Instead, I emptied a few hundred matchsticks onto the bathroom floor and made as many of these “sculptures” as I could before being found out…

Can you guess what I was making? Unfortunately, I was found out and got smacked. I remember not really understanding why I was in trouble. I often had this feeling when I was in trouble as a kid, a mixture of confusion, extreme upset for getting in trouble and annoyance at being misunderstood. I’m guessing I may have known matches were not toys, so it’s possible I wasn’t entirely innocent. But the thing that I was so engrossed in making had nothing to do with being naughty. I was truly and completely immersed in a creative activity.

Creativity Exercise 3

The last exercise is to take a box of matches and make your own little sculpture with the box and contents. You can use glue, blu tack or sticky tape, and the sculpture can be as abstract or literal as you like. If you want to know the explanation for what my four year old mind was so absorbed in creating, pop over to my new site: lightglobetv.com and check out the short video I’ve made of it. I’ve literally just put this site up last week, I plan to use it as a media center for the interviews, articles and videos I’m making, because all this content doesn’t really belong on my other site.

If you want to share any of the outcomes of these creative exercises, feel free to take photos or scan and email them to me at: info@yourcreativesuccess.com.

Click here to read the follow up article.

Cheers, Neroli.

About Neroli Makim

Neroli Makim is an intuitive artist and writer who loves exploring Creativity and its relationship to personal fulfillment and professional success. She educates people about Creativity, what it is, why it’s important and how to access it within themselves. For more information, visit www.yourcreativesuccess.com.

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35 Comments

  • hi Neroli! thanks for the exercises. I thinks my children appreciate them)

    • that’s great Neva:) You know you can use them too! Have fun with them, cheers, neroli

  • We all have some form of creativity but only a few really take advantage of it. You must get creative to be successful.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • hey Antonio:) Hope your creativity is paying off and you’re getting some success flowing with your blog, cheers:) neroli

  • It’s hard to hold onto the creativity and innocence we all contained as children. These exercises are very useful because most of us as adults just don’t have the same creative eye anymore. However with that weapon you can instantly have an advantage over others.

    • Interesting word to use Ruben -weapon:) I agree that you can definitely stand out from the crown with your creativity. Cheers, neroli

  • Development of the mind is such an overlooked subject for internet marketers, but virtually everything that is sold by them is for that very purpose, be it straightforward learing or in a niche.
    I am just starting out in the industry, and I will not be moving that far forward until the mind is right, but a little bit of creativity training doesn’t go amiss.

    • he-he, glad you’re adding some creativity training to your mindset training Neil. IBM released a survey recently of 1500 CEO’s & all them cited creativity as the most important character trait for succeeding in business these days -so I think the creativity training will pay off ;) cheers, neroli

  • Great exercises, I am still pretty good at drawing nice cartoons from scribbles, Loved Exercise 2 obv.

    • Hey Dilawer, glad you had fun with it:) It’s always good to play a bit and loosen up our minds and imagination, cheers, neroli

  • This is really cool. I am looking forward to your post next week to see how I do. I remember Mr. Squiggles as well, but I thought he was with Mr. Cosby, I could be wrong though.

    • hey, that’s weird about Mr Squiggle! Maybe one of the shows ripped him off from the other? he was on a show here with a blonde woman he called. “Miss Jane”…we never got Bill as Mr Squiggle’s side kick…I would have preferred Bill tho. Thanks for checking out the post,.
      Cheers. neroli :)

  • And this post, indeed, is a creativity exercise itself. I really enjoyed the out of the box approach to a blog post. Great work!

    • Thanks for checking it out, glad you liked it and had some fun with something different:) Cheers, neroli

  • thanks for this neroli, my creativity is sometimes weak i would say. :)

    • Hey Fazal, great to see you again. You know, i don’t think anyone is that weak creatively, but perhaps it’s just a muscle they haven’t used for a long time….and if you don’t need to use it everyday, then it stays like that. But you would have been naturally creative when you were little, so it’s there somewhere:)
      Cheers, neroli

  • A good way to encourage creativity, I find, is to give children memory games.

    I have two boys – 16 and 10 – who have been playing with a computer memory game for years.

    And, being a copywriter, I also encourage them to copy out adverts by hand. And they have to be controls written by the top guys.

    That may sound weird, but try it and see.

    Of course, make sure the copy you use is fun for them. Something they’d like to read about.

    • Hey that’s a great idea Rezbi! Memory is one of those skills that pays to be good at, and it needs constant effort and training to keep it sharp. Great suggestion, cheers, neroli

  • I am also trying to build my creativity skills. Thanks for the tips.

  • Creativity is probably the most important quality an entrepreneur should have in order to be successful so it is very important for a businessman to improve his/her creativity thinking skills, thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for checking out the article, I agree completely about creativity being essential in today’s business world, cheers, neroli

  • Although we are wired for creativity by birth, we need to practice/exercise a lot to sharpen our creativity. Thanks for the wonderful exercises, definitely worth a try!

    • Thanks Jane, you’re absolutely right about needing to keep on training and fine tuning our creativity, have fun with the exercises:) cheers, neroli

  • I don’t know if I should be happy that if I don’t resolve some brain problems like these, they come even in my sleep and I am dreaming that I am still figuring them out. Well some solutions were found at my dreams. :)

  • Hi Neroli! Thanks for sharing this, I will try it myself! I also want to improve the creative side of me, and this exercises really looks fun.

  • This would really makes you think… Nice and interesting exercise…:)

  • Its definitely fun to get your inner creativity going. I always have fun when I play with the squiggly exercise you mentioned here, I find it really does wonders to distract my mind, just making random squigglys but I’ve never thought of then trying to manipulate that into something else, could be a brain puzzler for me for sure!

    -Jean

  • [...] 3 Exercises To Improve Your Creative Thinking Skills (entrepreneurs-journey.com) [...]

  • Thanks for the information. I am always very interested in increasing my creativity and bring out what I have.

    I will try the exercises. Hopefully I will be able to get some more creativity by using them.

  • Great for this one Neroli, the exercises were fun and much more informative. Creative thinking is not a gift you have to be born with. Most creative people learn how to be creative.

  • Manuel Galindo

    Hi Neroli, I´m on that moment that you think that life is being wasted. This kind of excercises are reminding me when i used to enjoy taking pictures or have fun with a piece of paper. Thanks ! =)

  • Dina Cohen

    I want to continue to strengthen my creative muscle, while having fun, does anyone here have good tips for this?

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