4 Zoom-Friendly Creative Warm-ups

So, why warm up? Just like you’d stretch muscles to prepare for a run (or perhaps an 80’s inspired aerobics class), warming up for your work day is beneficial too. Creative exercises challenge your mind to think differently, open you up to new ideas, and encourage camaraderie when done together as a team.

Here are some of our favorite creative exercises to warm you right up. These need not be done exclusively by creative teams, and bonus – they can all be done on a video conference call using a platform like Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.

To complete an exercise, it’s best to designate one person to lead the charge. If your team utilizes group chats like Slack, we also recommend sharing any physical work there when you’re done. Let’s throw those leg warmers on and get to work!

Blind Contour Drawings

Description

This drawing exercise focused on observation can be done by artists and non-artists alike. Popularized by Kimon Nicolaïdes, the method involves carefully observing the outline and shapes of a subject while slowly drawing its contours in one continuous line without looking down at your paper.

Supplies

  • A sheet of paper
  • Pen or pencil

Instructions

  1. Pair up team members. Everyone should have one person to draw.
  2. Pin the person you’re drawing to your conference call screen, so you can see them the whole time.
  3. Give everyone about 2 minutes to focus on their subject, drawing them continuously with one line on their paper. Don’t look down! Focus on the shapes and contours of your subject.
  4. Boldly share your masterpieces!

*This was a team favorite. Many of us laughed so hard, we cried!

Squiggle Doodles

Description

This drawing exercise focused on observation can be done by artists and non-artists alike. Popularized by Kimon Nicolaïdes, the method involves carefully observing the outline and shapes of a subject while slowly drawing its contours in one continuous line without looking down at your paper.

Supplies

  • A sheet of paper
  • Pen or pencil

Instructions

  1. Instruct teammates to take a minute to fill their page with squiggles of all sizes.
  2. Now, tell teammates to turn their squiggles into birds! Adding eyes, beaks, whatever they’d like.
  3. Share!

Alternative Uses

Description

This thinking exercise developed by J.P. Guilford in 1967 focuses on original ideation. Participants should be given 2 minutes to independently explore as many new uses as possible for an everyday object – something like a chair, mug, or paper clip.

Supplies

  • A sheet of paper
  • Pen or pencil

Instructions

  1. The group leader should come to the table with an everyday object in mind to present to the group – this will serve as the object of reinvention.
  2. Give everyone in the group 2 minutes to write out and/or sketch alternative use ideas for this familiar object. (Don’t worry about the quality of any drawing, or whether or not something is a “good” or “bad” idea – just get them down on paper!)
  3. Share! If you’ve got a big group – have folks share their top 3 favorite new use ideas.

Two-Sentence Stories

Description

Two-sentence stories can really stretch the imagination, giving life to a few simple words. All you’ve got to do is start with a character (person or animal), a setting and a verb.

Supplies

  • A sheet of paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • OR A note taking program on your computer

Instructions

  1. Ask your team to shout out suggestions for a character, setting and verb. Ask them to share the first thing that comes to mind! Perhaps say, “You! Give me a character!”
  2. Give participants 2 minutes to write a 2-sentence story using these 3 words! Trust us, it’s possible.
  3. Share aloud!

*This exercise often leaves others inspired to try out new storytelling techniques!

We encourage you and your teams to give these creative warm-ups a shot. They can certainly liven up an everyday conference call. Stretch your mind, stretch your courage. And hey, if you need any additional players – just give us a shout!

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Written On April 29, 2020 By:

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