5 Brain Exercises to PUMP UP Your Creativity!

Is the heat and the end of summer dragging you down? Are you having a hard time engaging or even imagining the beginning of the school year? You need some Caffeine for the Creative Mind!


Here are 5 quick and easy ways to PUMP UP your brain:

1. Stimulate your senses. Perform an everyday task while focusing on one of your senses that isn’t usually involved with that task. You could:
• Wash your hair or get dressed with your eyes closed.
• Eat an entire family meal without speaking.
• Write down 5 things you can hear right now, that you otherwise tune out.

2. See things from a different perspective. Your task is to recreate your full name using letters and numbers. The only rule is you can’t use the actual letter. So if you name begins with an S, you can use any form of any letter or number, backwards or forwards, upside down or right side up – except an S!

3. Find something that looks like nothing. Our lives are filled with pattern. We see patterns in textiles, building materials, nature, even food. With as much pattern as we see, it begs the question “Is anything random anymore?” Time to explore the answer. Grab a digital camera. Your task is to take 10 pictures of things in your environment that have no pattern or order. Go!

4. Learn something new. Every time you challenge yourself to learn a new task, you create more connections and stronger connections between neurons. Some suggestions:
• Sign up for Yoga, Tai chi, or Pilates to learn with your whole body.
• Try a new game like chess, cards or a video game with your kids!
• Learn to knit, sew or crochet.

5. Start with a squiggle. You will need a friend for this one. Have a buddy draw a squiggle on a piece of paper and give you a category (sports, weather, travel, etc.) Your task is to create something in that category from that squiggle. When you finish, its your turn to create the squiggle and category for your friend.

For more ideas check out Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield and sign up for Recharging the Right Brain this September!

Which idea above would you like to try?

Do you use any creative exercises like these with your students? Please share!

Heather Crockett

Heather is AOE’s Educational Director and an expert in differentiation, curriculum development, and assessment. She is a veteran teacher in the art room and at the graduate level.


  • http://www.artbke.blogspot.com/ Amanda Heyn

    Fun ideas! I sometimes make “Start with a Squiggle” sheets for my students to complete after a project. I just draw them with a Sharpie and make copies. I’m excited to “Find Something That Looks Like Nothing.” I think it’s going to be a challenge, because as artists, we can see “something” in “anything.” 

  • https://www.theartofed.com/ Heather Crockett

    That is so true.  I think teaching Abstract Expressionism to elementary kids (especially around age 9-10) can be very challenging.

  • Frances Rice

    I’ve done the squiggle idea before, but like the new idea of drawing with a category in mind!

  • https://www.theartofed.com/ Chelsie Meyer

    I love #1! The thought of washing my hair with my eyes closed just seems oh so wonderful & relaxing! I feel like these ideas would also help me to become more aware of my surrondings! I will be mixing up my senses!

  • Pingback: AOE LIVE: Ep. 3 – Why Art is the Most Important Class with Lisa Phillips | The Art of Ed()

  • Pingback: AOE LIVE: Episode 12: “Art Teachers and the Creative Revolution” with Cindy Foley | The Art of Ed()