The mission of Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE) is to unleash the creative potential of young people. We share our creative methods to fulfill essential human needs for purpose, creativity, and connection. We do this by training individuals, schools and organizations in our Creative Empowerment Model, a unique combination of experiential education, group facilitation, and the arts, which together foster key life skills that help youth thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Today we’re sharing teasers from our introductory courses as fun and simple ways to boost your creative energies at home and in your community.
Give gifts of laughter and joy this holiday season with these Fun Activities to Spark Creativity. Check them out below and don’t forget to comment on your favorites – we’d love to hear from you!
1. Creative Name Tags or Place Cards (Ice Breaker)
Compile your favorite art supplies, including paper and writing utensils. Invite folks to make a creative name tag using a variety of materials. This is a great way to meet new people or show a new side of yourself with those you already know well. If you’re hosting a holiday party, you can welcome guests as they arrive with a creativity station where they can make their own place cards or create wearable art!
2. “Yes, And…” (Storytelling)
Great fun for small groups! Person A starts a story with 3-4 sentences. After a pause, Person B says “Yes, and…” and continues to build the story with a few more lines. Others can keep adding to the story arc with more details or events, each time beginning with “Yes, and…” Keep it moving until you hit a good ending point or set an egg timer. Start over as many times as you like! This is also a great virtual activity, try this exercise via email, group chat, Google docs or video call!
3. Metaphors (Creative Writing or Drawing)
Think of a thematic question and ask folks to respond with a metaphor. Questions might be something like, “Where are you at in life?”, “How are you feeling about the holidays?”, or “What does your community mean to you?” Hand out paper or index cards with colorful pens and let people free-write or draw out their metaphor for 2-5 minutes. Give each person a chance to share their responses. For example, people might respond with, “life is like a box of chocolates” or “I am a book in a library, waiting to be opened.” You may be delightfully surprised by what creative expressions bubble up!
4. What Are You Doing? (Improv)
Person A mimes an activity (for example, sweeping the floor with a broom) and Person B asks, “What are you doing?” Person A says an activity that does not match their current mime (for example, “Washing the dishes”) and Person B begins to mime this new activity. The next person asks Person B, “What are you doing?” and the game repeats.
5. Pass-Around Poem (Creative Writing)
Use the metaphors from Exercise #3 as a starting point for the Pass-Around Poem. Write each metaphor on a separate sheet of paper – this will be the first line of each poem. Add a line to the poem, then pass the sheet around the circle. Do the same for the next poem you receive until your first poem circles back to you. Take turns reading them out loud! Try this with a couple friends or a small group. You can also do this exercise online!
6. Pass the Ball (Improv)
Stand in a group and start passing around an imaginary ball. As it moves around the room, offer suggestions for the ball to change shape, size, texture, weight, etc. Let it linger in your hands as you imagine its properties. Eventually, allow folks to change the ball into a different object and pass that around for a bit.
7. Dance Circle (Movement)
Form a circle with anyone who wants to participate. No formal “dance background” needed – everyone can move any way that feels good to them! Turn on some fun music and invite a volunteer to offer a repetitive dance move to the group. Then ask the group to repeat the dance move back. Go around the circle until everyone has contributed one dance move.
Interested in developing your tool chest of creative activities and empowerment exercises? Join our email list to stay connected, and don’t forget to follow us on social media! Tag us on Instagram @PartnersForYouth using hashtag #SparkCreativity as you complete these activities.