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« Coloring Books for Kids and Adults: How They Can Support Creativity | Main | Wishing You a Season of Fun and a Happy New Year of Ideas »

Fourteen 5-Minute Games to Spark Kids’ Creativity




Teaching creative thinking to kids helps them become independent learners and achievers for a lifetime. Nurture their imaginations and get ready to have fun, be challenged, and be amazed at the awesome ideas that flow.

In honor of 2014, here are fourteen favorite games that fire up creative thought and let imaginations run wild. Kids can play these quick games in groups or independently.


  • PUT IN A GOOD WORD – The first player says a simple sentence such as “Birds can fly.” The next player must then add one or two words to the original sentence. For example, he may say, “Blue birds can fly.” Then, the following player adds another word or two. Now the sentence may become “Blue birds can fly quickly,” then, Blue birds can fly quickly toward Florida,” and so on until a player cannot think of another word to add to the sentence.
  • LAST WORD – Say a sentence such as “I like peaches.” The next player must then create a sentence using the last word of the former sentence for the first word of his sentence such as “Peaches do not grow in the ocean.” Continuing the example, “Ocean and sand make a beach,” then “Beach toys are fun,” and so on. Play goes back and forth until one player gets stumped. For an extra challenge, restrict the sentences to a specific topic. 
  • ALLITERATION NATION – Have a conversation with another player using alliteration. Choose a letter of the alphabet and create sentences using as many words that begin with that letter as possible. For instance, for the letter “w,” your sentence might be: “We want water whenever we waltz,” or “We will work with your wish.” Challenge your partner to an alliterative standoff to see who can create the longest sentences with any given letter. For younger children use three or four word sentences such as "a dog did dance."
  • ACRONYM NERD – To begin this game, the first player calls out a four- or five-letter word. The next player must then think of an acronym for that word. For example, if the word is “nerd,” the next player might say, “Nine elephants rolled downhill.” This player then calls out another word, and play continues. The sentences must be complete, but need not be entirely logical.


  • LIFE’S A BEACH – In this game of hypothetical mishaps, players dream up a myriad of things that can go wrong at the beach. To begin, the first player says, “I went to the beach and something went wrong: I got sand on my ice cream.” The next player might say, “I went to the beach and something went wrong: a fish ate my towel.” Play continues until a player cannot think of another calamity. Try alternate scenarios, too, such as walking a dog, baking cookies, or babysitting.
  • FIVE GOOD REASONS – For two players: The first player names an outrageous thing. The second player must name five reasons why her parent should buy it for her. Then the second player names something else that's outrageous, challenging the first player to name five reasons why his parent should buy that for him.  The reasons may be silly, serious, or preposterous. Continue taking turns until a player cannot come up with five reasons. For added fun: heighten the creative challenge to ten reasons.
  • LUCKY DUCKY – For two or more players: Start a story with a simple sentence. For example, “One day Lucky Ducky went to the beach.” The 2nd player continues the story with an unlucky event, such as “Unluckily it started to rain.”
    The next player turns the bad luck around. “Luckily, his hat had an umbrella on top.” Next, “Unluckily the umbrella was broken.” Then, “Luckily the sun came out again” and so forth, until the story comes to a lucky or unlucky end.


  • WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A BALL OF YARN? – How many uses can you think of for a ball of yarn? Could it be softball, or could you use yarn in place of shoelaces? Can you weave it into an orange juice strainer? List as many ideas as you can, or take turns with other players until one of you gets stumped. Award yourself one point for each use you list.
  • TRICKY STICKY – Name as many things as you can think of that you can use to stick something onto something else. For example, bubble gum, grape jelly, frog saliva, clay, squished sandwich, and so on. Challenge a friend or relative, naming things back and forth until one of you gets stuck (no pun intended.) 
  • FUNNY BUDDY – To begin this game, a player names an animal such as a cat. The next player then names a random object such as a pencil. Now, each player must think of a new invention that combines both cats and pencils. It can be silly or serious such as pencils that meow, cats with pencils for whiskers, or cats with rubber paws that can erase.
  • KEEP IT UP – For individuals or teams. Pretend you suddenly shrank and now your pants are falling down. You have five minutes to think of as many ways to hold up your big pants as you can.  Your ideas do not have to be practical, but they must be possible. For added fun, draw some sketches of your ideas or enact them in a short play or skit.


  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN – For two or more players. Name as many popular pairs as possible such as peanut butter and jelly, lock and key, or ball and bat. For added fun, challenge someone to a contest. Each of you should write down as many duos as possible within a five-minute timeframe, then compare lists. One point is awarded for every pair listed, and two points are awarded for each pair that your rival did not list.
  • A BAG OF WHATSIT – Hide an object in a bag or under a jacket so other player(s) cannot see what it is. Put your hand in the bag and describe how the object feels. The opponent tries to guess what the object is based only on your verbal description. For added fun, tell the other player(s) to sketch the object as you describe it, and then compare the sketch to the actual item. 
  • ALIKE BECAUSE – Two players each name one random thing that is easy to visualize, such as a dog and a book. Now take turns naming all the ways the two unrelated things are alike. For example, the first player might say, “a dog and a book are alike because they both have a part that opens and closes.” The second player says, “Both can fit in a car.” The first player then says, “Both belong to my friend,” and so forth until one of the players runs out of “alikes.”

Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun
– Albert Einstein

These games were adapted from our book, Creativity Unhinged, and our iOS app, Creative Genius On-the-Go!  These each have a hundred or more games that promote creative thinking. Do you have a quickie game that you play at home or in the classroom? How about sharing it in the comments?

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Reader Comments (2)

This seems to be an interesting game. Can we have a trial version of this game? It'll be fun.

Hi Rochelle,
Grab Creative Genius On-the-Go! in the App Store for iOS. It's localized for Australia, too.!/id434743831?mt=8
It's only Aus $1.29. And please rate it! It really helps.

April 27, 2014 | Registered CommenterMarty Safir
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