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8 Team-Based Exercises to Promote Creativity Among Students

Ignite creativity in no time with these exciting team-based exercises, perfect for any classroom!

· Teamwork

🕒 10 min read

In today's fast-paced world, the ability to think creatively is more vital than ever. Whether it's in the workplace or as part of personal endeavors, the capacity to innovate and generate original ideas is often the key to success and personal growth. However, accessing our creativity on demand can be a challenge, and waiting for inspiration to strike is a luxury few can afford.

So, how can we nurture and teach creativity to students? In this blog post, we will delve into specific strategies for cultivating higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in your students. By the end, you'll have the tools to help your students tackle artistic challenges with unique and personalized approaches. These creative exercises are suitable for all levels of education and can be easily incorporated into your classroom routine to boost creativity in classrooms.

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Of course! Creativity can be developed through time if trained accordingly using proper creative thinking exercises.

Lynda Weinman posed that creativity is a skill because it can be learned. It can also be sucked dry out of people when there is too much emphasis on rote learning and standardization. It is taught by open-ended problem solving. Problems that teach creativity have no one right answer.

Creative thinking cannot flourish in the confines of a lecture hall; instead, it thrives when students are given a platform to exercise and apply their creative ideas.

creative exercises for students


A creativity exercise is an activity that focuses on the development of creative abilities such as problem-solving, communication, and innovation rather than the improvement of a specific creative aptitude such as painting or dance. Creative thinking exercises can be multi-modal, involving the use of paper and pen, construction tools, discovered objects, or even a creative platform to generate new ideas and broaden creative thinking.

A classroom environment that encourages creativity is always more engaging and participatory. The synergy of creativity and education allows students to explore their imaginations while acquiring new knowledge. Furthermore, creative classrooms have the potential to revolutionize the way students learn and apply their knowledge in real-world situations.

Incorporating team-based creative exercises into the classroom can promote group cohesion and boost creativity. These activities also enhance students' problem-solving and critical-thinking skills by encouraging idea generation, connecting unrelated concepts, and adapting objects for unique purposes.



Enables Learning Through Fun

Creative activities make learning enjoyable and stress-free. When creative methods are integrated into teaching, students can learn without the pressure of traditional learning.

Enhances Thinking Abilities

Creative exercises stimulate students' innovative thinking skills. Amidst rigorous curriculum schedules, activities like open-ended questions, creative team-building exercises, brainstorming sessions, and discussions encourage inventive responses to challenging questions.

Improves Focus and Attention Span

Students often have short attention spans. Incorporating memory games, regular breaks, and intervals for creativity in the classroom can significantly enhance their attention spans.

Inculcates an Innovative Mindset

Creativity exercises provide students with opportunities to think critically about various situations or subjects and develop novel solutions. Collaborative classroom discussions also encourage students to critically evaluate others' ideas and contributions, fostering the creation of something entirely new.

Boosts Creative Output

It's important to rise in many unique ideas before improving their quality. It helps you come up with whole fresh answers to repetitive problems. On the other hand, quantity and the variety of the collection of ideas are positively correlated with divergent thinking and exploration of the ideation space, thereby improving creative performance. (Becattini et al, 2020)



Now, let's explore eight creativity exercises that will engage your students in discussions, problem-solving, critical thinking, and more, all while enhancing their creativity in the classroom.


1. Six-word story challenge 

Yes, the challenge is inspired by the legend of Ernest Hemingway’s six-word story: “For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn.” This elliptical tragedy's extreme brevity has made it a favorite example of writing teachers for decades, and you can actually use this challenge to exercise creativity in any classroom!

How to do it with Rolljak

Choose an Open-ended activity with a question:

Add 2 words to collaborate and create a six-word story.

Enable team mode to have a team of 3 students and enable collaboration 2x. So one team will come up with 3 different six-word stories! You can enable peer evaluation so each team can choose the best line to share in their classroom.

Six word story challenge: innovation exercises for students


You can tell your students that their story doesn't have to be as dark or as large as Hemingway’s, but try to condense something significant in only six words. You can always give this exercise in every session for a week, so students attempt to write one every day. 


2. Incomplete figure test

The incomplete figure test is a drawing exercise. You start with a small, basic doodle, such as a half-circle or loop to make a whole drawing. Do this in a team, that students work from the same scribbling, then compare their drawings with other teams. Observing how others perceive the same small design might broaden their creative horizons and inspire new ideas.

How to do it with Rolljak

Choose Sketch-it activity, upload an image of a half-circle or loop as a background. Ask them to create anything in mind! Enable collaboration and team mode, so students can collaborate to develop upon the ideas of their peers within a team.

Incomplete figure test


After they've finished drawing, ask them whether their artwork depicts an emotion or if they want to build on the tale the picture conveys. This kind of activity is not only entertaining, but it also allows students to express themselves creatively by having them practice sketching "a hilarious image."


3. 10 circles

10 circles is a creative activity in which the aim is quantity rather than quality. Your students are handed a piece of paper with 10 similar circles on it. You give them a limited period of time, generally no more than 5 minutes, to draw anything in as many of the 10 circles as they can.

How to do it with Rolljak

Choose the Sketch-it activity, upload a circle image as a background. Fix the number of responses to 10, and set the time into 300 seconds (5 minutes).

10 circles challenge


Enable team mode, so the finished circles are compared to determine if there are any uniting themes or designs.


4. Paper clip test

The paper clip test is a type of thinking activity that is usually done within a group. In this exercise, your students are given a box of paper clips and are challenged to identify as many uses for them as possible other than holding papers.

How to do it with Rolljak

Choose The Adapter activity which you can find in our Activity Library. This activity allows students to recall how a common object is used and adapt it for another situation. Choose the objects, or randomize them and stimulate your students’ creative thinking! Change the Number of Responses from Fixed to Participant chooses, and set Response Time into 300 seconds so students can put many ideas in a time limit.

broken image


5. Repurposed product

Make a new product out of the items on your desk, such as staplers, folders, tape, photos, and paper. This is also a terrific exercise for groups. After each individual or team has completed their repurposing of a product, they can compare their designs for uniqueness, inventiveness, and usefulness. This activity is extremely beneficial for developing thinking abilities.

How to do it with Rolljak

Choose The Upcycler activity that you can find in our Activity Library. With this activity, you ask your students to see beyond the intended function of an object through repurposing. You can choose the prompt or randomize it. Enable collaboration and team mode so your students can work within a team.

Repurposed product


6. Project limitations

Dr. Seuss’s masterpiece “Green Eggs & Ham” was created because his editor challenged him to write a complete book using just 50 words. If you're stuck on a project, impose a constraint you wouldn't normally impose! Whether it's producing an essay that was supposed to be 1000 words in 500 words or completing a week-long assignment in only three days, tackling your project with new constraints may be the most liberating thing you could do.

How to do it with Rolljak

Use open-ended activity and challenge your students to write a 1 paragraph story, using less than 10 different words in only 5 minutes. You can also prompt limited vocabularies for your students to write. Enable collaboration and team mode, and see how they work together to produce the most imaginative piece (or maybe a masterpiece), even with limitations!

Project limitations



7. The Survivor

Research shows that when people are given limited resources and context to 'think divergently,' their creative output increases. The foundation of creativity is divergent thinking, which means it doesn’t converge on a single accurate response but diverges to a variety of possibilities. You can incorporate this exercise, and challenge participants to think divergently (and fast) in a crisis situation!

How to do it with Rolljak

Choose The Survivor activity which you can find in our Activity Library. You can choose or randomize the critical situation and let your students choose the object they’d use to survive the crisis! Set the Number of Responses from fixed to Participant chooses. You can let the Response Time in 90 seconds. Don’t worry, you can add more time later when the game is live. See how many ideas your students will come up with!

The Survivor


8. The Empathiser

Empathy in Design Thinking entails learning about people's challenges as well as revealing their underlying wants and aspirations in order to explain their behaviors and preferences. With empathy, we can come up with ideas or solutions which impact people’s lives generally, or specifically within the contexts being investigated. You can start encouraging students to practice empathy to design better solutions by giving them contextual design challenges.

How to do it with Rolljak

Choose The Empathiser activity which you can find in our Activity Library. Use the Prompt Formulator to create the question by choosing the objects, or randomizing them. Set Response Time to 180 seconds so you give students more time to think, and most importantly, to empathise with users before designing the solutions.

The Empathiser


To run these exercises in your classroom, focus on keeping the session fun. There should be no pressure. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to creativity. The best learning outcomes are born from enjoyment and equal participation from everyone! Also, value their creativity, celebrate and reward it.

Creativity is the skill that will power our future. It serves to motivate pupils and adults alike and should be included into all aspects of learning and education. When it comes to planning and developing learning experiences for students: It is more vital to educate pupils on how to think, rather than what to think.