Divergent thinking activities are excellent for fostering imaginative thinking, creativity, and problem-solving abilities in children. Divergent thinking involves generating multiple possible solutions to a problem. These activities help learners come up with fresh ideas and encourage them to adopt a growth mindset by teaching them to accept failure as a necessary learning component. Following are 20 divergent thinking activities that will encourage children to think creatively and unconventionally. Let’s dive right in!
1. Collaborative Drawing
In this activity, you will ask your students to collaborate in groups to form a piece of art. First, the group will discuss the list of ideas for the drawing and then each child will add to it; building on what the others did.
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2. Build a Machine
Provide your students with useful materials such as a pile of cardboard boxes or used bottles. Then, challenge them to make something useful or interesting out of it. This will enhance their creativity and imagination.
Learn more: TinkerGarten
3. Create a Recipe
Ask your students to make a recipe for a food or drink they haven’t tried before. They can write down the ingredients and instructions and then try making what they desire.
Learn more: Nomster Chef
4. Invent a New Animal
Encourage your students to create an animal that has never existed before. They can draw a picture of it, give it a name, and describe its appearance and behavior.
Learn more: Creative Classroom Tools
5. Create a Comic Strip
Ask your students to create a comic strip with characters and a storyline. Then, they can draw pictures and write what the characters say.
Learn more: Creative Educator
6. Design a New Toy
Ask your kiddos to think of a toy that they would like to play with and have them devise a new idea for it. Then, they can draw a picture of the toy and explain how it works.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
7. What Do You See?
A fun and easy divergent thinking activity! #pypchat pic.twitter.com/h4fGJ2bGqg— Chris Gadbury (@chrisgadbury) April 28, 2021
In this activity, students will look at a picture and state what they can imagine. It helps them enhance their creative thinking abilities, think about things in different ways, and understand different ideas. They can complete the activity alone or with friends.
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8. Create a New Superhero
Encourage your students to invent their own superheroes with special abilities and an interesting back story. Once invented, learners can share their hero with the class.
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9. Draw a Self-portrait
Ask your student to draw a picture of themselves using any materials they’d like. This activity provides students with exercise conditions that challenge their lateral thinking; allowing them to come up with divergent solutions and ideas.
Learn more: Artwork Archive
10. Make a Collage
Challenge learners to make a collage using magazine cutouts and other materials. They can choose any theme they’d like and make a beautiful work of art.
Learn more: YouTube
11. Invent a New Mode of Transportation
Encourage your students to think of a new way to travel between places such as flying, swimming, or crawling. They can draw a picture of their invention and explain how it works.
Learn more: YouTube
12. Create a New Fairytale
This activity prompts students to use their creativity to develop imaginative tales. Students will need to employ divergent thinking to generate unique ideas to create their rendition of a fairytale story.
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13. Design a New Outfit
Encourage your students to create a new outfit by drawing a picture and describing the fabrics and accessories that are needed to bring it to life.
Learn more: Bored Panda
14. Design a New Building
Challenge learners to design a building that serves a particular function such as a school, museum, or spaceship. They can draw a blueprint of their design and describe its features and usage; promoting creativity and design skills.
Learn more: Inventors of Tomorrow
15. Invent a New Musical Instrument
Prompt your kiddos to invent a new musical instrument with a unique sound. This activity involves having students draw a picture of their invention and describe how it’s played; encouraging the development of innovative ideas.
Learn more: Playtivities
16. Create a New Dance
Challenge kids to create a dance routine with unique moves before performing it for you. Up the ante by having them pair up for the second round and perform with a partner!
Learn more: British Council
17. Design Their Own Space
Encourage the child to design their own personal space, such as a bedroom or play area, with a theme of their choice. They can draw a layout and then describe the features; promoting their creativity and design skills.
Learn more: Guide Craft
18. Create a New Video Game
You can ask the students to create a new video game with their own storyline, characters, and gameplay mechanics. They can write out the rules and create a prototype; fostering their creativity and problem-solving skills.
Learn more: Thimble.io
19. Invent a New Gadget
Encourage the kid to use their imagination and invent a new gadget that would be helpful in daily life. They can draw a picture of it, name it, and describe how it works, fostering imaginative thinking.
Learn more: FirstCry Parenting
20. Create a New Board Game
Challenge students to use their creativity and critical thinking skills to design a new board game from scratch. They can come up with their own rules, pieces, and board design, and then write down the instructions for others to play it.
Learn more: YouTube