10 Imagination/Creativity Exercises
Is your imagination flawless?
Even if it's really good, it can always use practice. Unfortunately, people these days have a surprising lack of imagination. It’s not a huge surprise, because we don’t tend to practice that much. As such, I have compiled a list of imagination and creativity exercises you can do to practice and develop your ability to create, imagine, and visualize.
1. Swap convex and concave
This is a really easy exercise to start with. Look at the corner of the room. It pushes out away from you. In your mind’s eye, I want you to instead see that corner push inwards towards you.
2. Mental Tic-Tac-Toe
Try playing Tic-Tac-Toe without paper. Assign the grid numbers 1-9. Then go back and forth stating the numbers that you’re moving on. You might find it a lot more challenging to keep track of what the game board looks like. If this becomes too easy, try playing Torus Tic-Tac-Toe or 3D-Tic-Tac-Toe in your head (the fun thing about those games is you can always win without a tie!).
3. Read an old book
If you read a book, like Anne of Green Gables or Lord of the Rings, you will find rich description and imagery, which is too often ignored. Try reading some of these descriptions and imagine each detail the author describes.
Picture this imagery from Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 2:
The "Avenue," so called by the Newbridge people, was a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched over with huge, wide-spreading apple-trees, planted years ago by an eccentric old farmer. Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the air was full of a purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.
Its beauty seemed to strike the child dumb. She leaned back in the buggy, her thin hands clasped before her, her face lifted rapturously to the white splendor above. Even when they had passed out and were driving down the long slope to Newbridge she never moved or spoke. Still with rapt face she gazed afar into the sunset west, with eyes that saw visions trooping splendidly across that glowing background. Through Newbridge, a bustling little village where dogs barked at them and small boys hooted and curious faces peered from the windows, they drove, still in silence. When three more miles had dropped away behind them the child had not spoken. She could keep silence, it was evident, as energetically as she could talk.
4. Alter movies
Try changing details in movies and fully imagine the changes you would make. Be sure to imagine the tones of voice, speech patterns, colors, facial expressions, and scenery in detail as you would see it in a movie.
Look at the ceiling and imagine all forms of circus animals and performers entertaining you on the ceiling. See an elephant with clown shoes on and see a trapeze artist holding a monkey wearing polka dots.
You can play the game Gibberish, or you can simply try communicating with your family using gibberish. When you do this, you rely solely on your body language, tone, and expressions to communicate your ideas.
7. The game Imagination
This is an animated guessing game where you put abstract images together to convey an idea. I haven't played it yet, but it looks like fun.
8. Story Cubes
Create your own stories with dice that randomly give you images to integrate into your stories. Interpret them as you will and use them for inspiration in creating a zany tale. There are a few different versions, depending on how many dice you want: Story Cubes, Story Cubes Bundle, and Story Cubes full expansion pack.
This is highly underrated. Make something up and be creative with those around you to have some fun!
10. Instrumental Music
This is something my husband really likes to do. Take a soundtrack from a movie or instrumental music and imagine a cinematic-style scene in your head. Instrumental music can convey many different kinds of emotion, but there is a lot of scope for the imagination. Just a few days ago, Ross helped paint an image in my head for a trailer for a book with some background music. It was fun!
Develop your creativity and imagination skills! Try out one of these exercises. If you’re embarrassed to ask someone to play pretend with you, try one of the solo exercises. It might feel weird at first, but as you develop and practice your creativity, it’ll come more naturally to you and you’ll find yourself imagining things you never thought you could!