The Brainstorm Game: Teaching Kids to Think Outside the Box

We call this game The Brainstorm Game and it’s fabulous for encouraging children to think creatively, developing brainstorming skills and divergent thinking ability. And all you need to play is a collection of common, household objects!

The Brainstorm Game: Teaching kids to think outside the box. A great game for encouraging creatiev and divergent thinking.

Providing regular opportunities for children to think creatively encourages them to be receptive to innovation and invention, and to be open to alternatives when learning, solving problems and facing new situations.

The Brainstorm Game

Here’s how to play:

Provide your child with a simple object from the list below – I suggest you start with a cardboard tube first off. Let your child explore the object themselves first. The first time we played Immy immediately began pretending the cardboard tube was a telescope. As her initial interest in the tube began to wane I said, “I have been watching you using the tube as a telescope, it looked like you were having so much fun. Which made me wonder, what else could you imagine it to be?”

In no time at all she had come up with ten different potential uses, each accompanied by an enthusiastic demonstration of how the cardboard tube would indeed function in its new role. She came up with;

  • Flute
  • Trumpet
  • Carrot
  • Ice cream cone
  • Painting implement
  • Toothbrush
  • Spy glass
  • Golf stick
  • Didgeridoo
  • Teeth sharpener (???!)

It really is a very simple, spontaneous game and it can be lots of fun – don’t be afraid to give it a go yourself. Be sure to actually give the child the object to hold and move with as they play. Be open to all of the child’s responses, no matter how out there they might appear (I am still not quite sure what a teeth sharpener is!), and be aware that (depending upon the age of your child) you might need to join in with a few suggestions as they get used to the idea of the game.

For older children add a time pressure, “In one minute show me as many different uses as you can for this _____” or suggest, “Can you think of five/ten/twelve different uses for this ____?”

The Brainstorm Game: Teaching kids to think outside the box. A great game for encouraging creatiev and divergent thinking.

Here is a list of other common, household objects that you could easily put to use for some creative brainstorming fun;
  • Pool noodle
  • Plastic plate
  • Headscarf
  • Hairbrush
  • Wooden spoon
  • Skipping rope
  • Saucepan
  • Saucepan lid
  • Pair of pants
  • Bath towel
  • Ruler
  • Leaf
  • Whisk
  • Sock
  • Elastic band
  • CD
  • A forked stick
  • Hula hoop

What else could you imagine a cardboard tube to be?

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Games for Speaking, Listening and Thinking More Than Pretty: Creative Arts as a Language of Learning