How to carry out a creative warm-up for a good start of brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a very simple tool for generating ideas if principles established by its creator are obeyed. It allows generating even several dozen ideas in a short time. Sometimes, it happens that ideas refuse to appear, or the energy level of the participants has drastically dropped. Or it is just a Monday morning. In such situations, you need a creative warm-up!

  • Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Materials: drawing templates (optionally), colour marker pens for every user (optionally)
  • Participants: moderator, facilitator, creative team members / brainstorm session participants
  • What you will learn: stimulate your brain to think creatively
  • What you will get: ready-to-use warm-up boards – click on the picture to see and save freebies!

Before we start, it is worth knowing that a good warm-up:

  • Lasts only a couple of minutes
  • Helps the participants overcome the fear of public speaking
  • Loosens up the atmosphere and improves the team relations
  • Warms up the creativity
  • Stimulates both hemispheres of the brain
  • Raises the energy level

Here are ten of our favourite warm-ups tested during long and demanding creative sessions.

1. ALPHABET freebie (all the alphabet letters written down on a paper)

You have two minutes to write down an adjective to every alphabet letter (the game can be changed and updated, e.g. add a city or name or a company starting with a given letter, etc.).

2. ITEM freebie (table divided into 50 cells)

Divide yourself into even teams. The leader of each group is responsible for writing down 50 unique ideas for using an item. You have 2 minutes to complete the task. The item is chosen by the host, it can be chair. Remember to give everyone something to write with!

3. CIRCLES freebie (template divided into 30 circles)

You have 3 minutes to complete 30 drawings the base of which is a circle. Sketch in some elements to each circle, e.g. rays to make a sun, or ears, nose, eyes, and mouth to make a face. It is important that the drawings resemble objects that are recognisable for everyone.

4. PIF-PAF (BANG-BANG)

Stand in a circle. The game is started by a person making a pistol with their hands and aiming at another person, saying “pif.” The indicated person makes a pistol with their hands answering “paf”, and aims the pistol at another person, saying “pif.” The person who confuses the order or does not answer correctly after being aimed drops out of the game. The game ends when there are two persons left.

5. WHAT FOR

Pair up. Persons in pairs alternately point to an item in the room and ask “what is it for?”, “what was it created for?”. The other person must answer the questions without thinking.

6. ORDER

The host commands the entire team to stand next to each other in the order of height, date of joining the company, date of birthday, age, hair colour – without using words. It is worth trying several configurations and prepare some reward for the participants, e.g. sweets.

7. DEFINITIONS

Stand in a circle. The host gives the team the name of an item that everyone uses on a daily basis and points the first person to answer. One by one, each participant is supposed to create the item’s definition and present it to everyone.

8. CATEGORIES

The host gives commands to the entire team to create smaller groups based on, e.g. colours of the eyes, shoe size, shirt colour, pet owned, siblings, etc. – without saying any words.

9. GRANDMA, TIGER, NINJA

The game is similar to the rock paper scissors game, but when showing a given figure, we use the entire body, not only hands. Pair up. The winner fights the winner from another pair. Remember that Ninja beats Tiger, Tiger eats Grandma, Grandma beats Ninja (because she’s his mother):

Grandma is hunched, Tiger jumps and goes “roar”, while Ninja takes a fighting stance.

10. HISTORY

Stand in a circle. The host says one sentence that starts a story. Every next person is supposed to continue the story by saying one additional sentence.

There are numerous methods of an effective warm-up. Above, we have described the ones that prove most useful in our team. Although you may have doubts about their validity, but after you try them, you will understand how effective they can be.

If you have any questions, write to us!

30.11.2021

Kreatik

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