Games for Divergent Thinking


Divergent thinking generates various thoughts about a specific topic within a limited period of time. It breaks down a topic into several parts to help you understand the different aspects that it covers. This type of thinking is spontaneous, and it generates ideas randomly. Some of the techniques that can be used to stimulate divergent thinking include brainstorming and freewriting. Games are also used to generate ideas using divergent thinking. A game can enrich learning, promote understanding and highlight concepts taught in class.

Brain Blast

Brain Blast promotes divergent thinking by providing an opportunity for groups to generate several ideas for a certain topic. To play Brain Blast, you need a large die and a list of topics. If the game is being played in a classroom environment, select topics that students have learned. Divide a group of individuals into two teams and roll the die. The number that is rolled will determine the number of words that a team has to come up with for a particular topic. Some of the theme topics that you can choose for the game include clothing, nutrition, seasonal activities, feelings, fitness, authors, sports, astronomy and countries.

Unlike Thoughts

Students can use ads that connect different thoughts for this game. A sentence like "food is to the eye like perfume is to the nose" connects different thoughts. An instructor can provide a sentence fragment like “food is to eye like” and ask a student to complete it. Once a student completes the sentence, he is required to come up with another fragment and ask someone else in the class to complete it. This game demonstrates that different thoughts can be connected and it encourages group thinking.

Pulling Pockets

Pulling Pockets is a problem solving game that encourages divergent thinking. It is based on quick thinking, chance and surprise. Divide a class into groups and create a problem for them to solve using divergent thinking. Write down several problems on pieces of paper, and place one in a pocket. In this case, a pocket can be a tie bag, box, plastic jar or envelope. Each pocket should have one problem. The groups pick a pocket and try to solve the problem inside within a specified period of time.


An instructor can come up with a topic and ask students to focus on it. Students should write about the topic for about 20 minutes without stopping. During this activity, students should write down all the ideas that they have on the topic, without revising or proofreading. Freewriting allows an individual to come up with a variety of thoughts about a certain topic within a limited period. The ideas can be restructured later on using convergent thinking.

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