Increasing Creativity

posted in: Categories, Writing | 0

Underpinning effective writing is creative thinking. The following activities have been shown to be effective for developing creativity. When you do these activities with children, keep it fun and join in, offering your ideas as well.

  1. Alternative Uses

The Alternative Uses test was developed by J.P. Guilford in 1967. In the test situation, you have to think of as many ways as possible of using an everyday object. Use the same idea to develop children’s creativity, except don’t put a time limit on the activity and contribute your ideas as well. For example, a paper clip could be used to hold papers together, as earrings, as a bookmark, as a fishing hook, as a mini-coathanger……

How many was can you think of to use:

  • A chair
  • A coffee mug
  • A paper clip
  • A brick
  • A broom
  • A spoon
  1. Incomplete Figure

The Incomplete Figure test was developed by psychologist Ellis Torrance in the 1960s In this test, you are given a shape consisting of a few lines and then asked to complete the image (a bit like Mr Squiggle – if you are of that generation!).  It is easy to create your own practice examples.

  1. Riddles

Psychologists also use riddles to measure creative problem solving potential. The goal in this strategy is to arrive at a single correct answer rather than as many answers as possible.

Riddle: It’s an object without hinges, a lid or a key, yet a golden treasure lies within.
Answer: An egg

Try the riddles on this website:

A good way to introduce your child to riddles is to allow them to ask questions which can only be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

  1. Remote Associates

The Remote Associates Test takes three unrelated words, such as “Falling – Actor – Dust,” and asks you to come up with a fourth word that connects all three words. In this case, the answer is “star,” as in “falling star,” “movie star” and “stardust.”

For more examples, go to:

  1. Creative Problem Solving

In this activity participants are given some objects and a problem to solve. In the original test designed by Karl Duncker in 1945,  participants were given a candle, a box of thumbtacks, and a book of matches and asked to affix the lit candle to the wall so that it will not drip wax onto the table below. Can you think of a solution?  Solution:

Try these ideas: