Keeping your mind active and sharp is important for keeping your creativity alive. After all, creativity isn’t a characteristic you either “have” or “don’t have.” Rather, it’s a skill that you can learn, develop, and strengthen over time. Like other skills, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.
Unlike some other skills, however, developing creativity can (and should) be a lot of fun. At Design.org, we believe that creating brings happiness, so it makes sense that building your creativity would bring happiness, too.
In fact, there are plenty of games out there that can help increase creativity. Whether you like video games, group games, or brain-teasers, there are plenty of options for boosting your creativity while having fun at the same time.
Video games that increase creativity
Video games sometimes get a bad reputation as “mind-numbing” or unproductive. But research has shown that video games actually have plenty of benefits, too, including a positive correlation between playing video games and creativity. These results were found regardless of the type of video game, and other uses of technology (e.g. cell phones or the Internet) did not result in an increase of creativity.
How do video games help boost your creativity? Generally speaking, they usually involve problem solving within the certain confines of the game. Players aren’t able to do whatever they want to achieve their goal, and those restrictions force them to get creative about finding solutions. And the willingness and ability to find solutions is a big part of creative living.
I did some digging to find examples of video games that are highly regarded as games that help develop creativity:
- Minecraft (or other world-building games like Terraria, SimCity, or Little Big Planet)
- Animal Crossing, a game that has grown in popularity recently
- Scribblenauts, with puzzles and “easter eggs” galore
- Tetris, arguably the original puzzle game, which requires quick thinking and spatial awareness
- Big Brain Academy
Group games that increase creativity
Group games add socialization to a creativity-building game, making them beneficial in more ways than one, as you get the chance to not only develop your creativity, but develop relationships in the process. Since creativity and relationships are both key to happiness, games like these can give you a happiness boost, too (as long as no one in your group is too competitive—wink wink).
Some group games that can help boost creativity are:
- Ticket to Ride
- Hide and seek
- Escape rooms (look for a local option)
Brain teasers to boost creativity
Brain teasers are the quintessential “creative thinking” games. From simplistic brain teasers that get passed around on the playground, to complicated brain teasers that stump the most intelligent academics, brain teasers usually require you to approach a problem from a new or unexpected angle, thereby using new areas of your brain and opening your thinking up to new possibilities.
Word searches, look and find games, sudoku, and such are great brain teasers that help with creative thinking, and there are plenty of activity books available that could keep you busy with these for a lifetime.
There are also plenty of websites available with brain teaser-type games that can help boost your creativity:
- Matchstick puzzles on learningtree.org
- 10 brain teasers to stretch your brain, from Forbes
- Lateral thinking puzzles, from smartestbrain.com
Other activities that increase creativity
There are plenty of other activities that boost creativity too, even if they don’t necessarily fall under the “game” category, like:
- Home decorating
- Brainstorm solutions (remember: there are no bad ideas!)
- Creative writing
At Design.org, we know a thing or two about creativity. Read more of our thoughts:
- How to Design Your Thoughts for Better Creativity
- Want Creativity? Try Spring Cleaning.
- 5 Mental Exercises to Try When You’re Creatively “Stuck”
- Unleash Your Inner Dragon: A Manifesto for Creatives
Building creativity doesn’t necessarily happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Stretch your creative thinking with these games and activities, and then use that creativity to “create happy” in your life.
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