An important aspect of everyday life is the ability to work through and find solutions to the problems you are confronted with. Promoting creative problem-solving can aid students in becoming independent thinkers and set them on the path to future success. Each activity listed below is designed to assist in the process of developing creativity and imagination skills in young adults. These imagination activities for students and creative thinking activities for teens are part of our collection of 52 Leadership Ideas that promote create problem solving, among other critical character traits. Visit our online store today to download the PDF version of these creative development activities, as well as other exercises that help build strong leadership traits in young adults.
Bag of Vision
Fill a bag with several strange, unrelated items from around the house. The more weird the items are the better. Then, have each family member reach in the bag and pull one out. Give them a minute to think about it, then have them tell an imaginary story about the item— perhaps how it originated. Afterward, have them share a practical use for the item they’ve chosen, for which it was not originally designed. The item should solve a problem or address a human need in some way. Allow vision and creativity to flow.
After this crazy little exercise, talk about the importance of vision and creativity. What role does our imagination play as we come up with new ideas to solve problems? What can we use our ability to be creative and have vision for?
Our imaginations can be used for good or bad purposes. Either way, they are powerful.
Spin the Globe
Gather around your family globe. Talk about the different needs people have around the world. Ask your young person to spin the globe, and have them point to a certain spot on it, as it revolves. When it finally stops, identify what country their finger is pointing.
Then, discuss the culture, the people and the needs of that nation (the CIA World Factbook can be very helpful!). Use the Internet, an encyclopedia, or a news source to determine the needs and problems of that country. Finally, decide what one thing you could do to help the country you’ve discussed.
Pick Up Your Burden
Sit down with your young person, and talk about their school. What’s happening on their campus? Once you get the conversation going, ask them to name one problem at their school that really needs to be solved.
Challenge them to “adopt” that problem as their own burden. Have them make a list of steps that could be taken to solve the problem. (These may be imaginary steps depending on the size of the burden they have chosen). Get them thinking about their vision for helping make the school a better place instead of complaining about how bad it is.
Finally, have them write about, draw a picture or clip out photos from magazines that depict the vision they have for their school. Have them create a mural if they wish. Then, post these pictures in their room as a reminder to both pray and act on their vision.
Find a Historical Mentor
Select a biography of a great leader in the past. Find one about a man or woman who had a big vision, and accomplished something great for the world. Read the biography together, or at least a chapter from the book. You may want to pay your young person a good sum for reading the book—after all, they get paid for doing chores; why not pay them for feeding their mind and heart with inspiring stories?
After they are finished with their reading, discuss the highlights of the book. Ask them what they enjoyed most about the story. Ask them how that leader caught his or her vision to make a difference in the world. What enabled them to endure hardship and finally achieve their goal?
For dinner one night, assign each of your young people one food item to shop for. Give them some money, and send them to the grocery store. Allow them to pick whatever they want to buy from a particular food group: protein, vegetable, fruit, dairy, starch, etc.
When they arrive home, examine the variety of items they have chosen. Then, give them permission to put on their creative thinking hats, and put together a great menu from what they have chosen. This will require both vision and creativity on their part. Help them only when it is necessary.
As you eat the meal, talk about their thinking process. How did they make the decisions on the menu? What was the most creative part of the meal? How did they get the ideas they came up with? Talk about how those who prove themselves trustworthy with little tasks are usually those entrusted with big tasks.