Interactive Brainstorming Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The goal of brainstorming is to generate ideas, but this can sometimes be hard if you're just sitting. These interactive ideas will get the mind and body working in different ways while brainstorming.

Interactive Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a crucial skill that has applications in personal life, school, and/or a career. However, sometimes brainstorming can become so static and commonplace that it actually stifles creativity and innovation. The point of these interactive activities is to get the mind and/or body working in new ways, infusing some new energy into the brainstorming process.

Interactive Brainstorming Activities

Speed-Dating Brainstorming

Give everyone the problem at hand, and give them three minutes to come up with one original idea. Arrange the room so that half of the people are seated at desks, opposite an empty chair. The remaining people will then fill the empty seats. When they sit, the timer begins. Both people have five minutes to share their ideas with each other and provide constructive feedback. Each person should try to determine (on their own) if the two ideas make a good idea match to solve the problem. When the five minutes are up, one person switches to the next seat and starts again.

  • Materials: Notepads, writing utensils, stopwatch/clock

The Car Ride

Divide the group into teams of 3-5, and set out seats in two rows. Assign a problem to the group, and give them a few minutes to individually come up with initial ideas. Then, designate one person in each group as the driver. They will sit in the left seat of the front row. Next to them, designate and place the navigator. Remaining team members will sit in the back row and be backseat drivers.

Start the clock. For five minutes (or longer if you'd like), team members will use these positions to brainstorm and discuss. The driver introduces their idea and decides what directions to take in the planning. The navigator's job is to map out the route (write out the plan as it forms) and to call out any obstacles in the way. Every time the driver presents a new idea or solution, the navigator must immediately predict the biggest obstacle in making that solution a reality, and the driver will have to figure out how to deal with that obstacle. The backseat drivers should shout out any idea that pops into their head (good or bad) for the driver to consider. After five minutes, have them switch roles.

  • Materials: Chairs, writing supplies, stopwatch/clock

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