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I’d like to talk to you today about creative thinking, or more specifically how board games can help us with creative thinking. 

This is part of life skills that we get from board games check out the rest of this series here. 

Sometimes, the right move in a game isn’t always the obvious one. 

Sometimes we need to think a little bit outside the box, if you excuse the pun! 

But what is creative thinking? 

Well really it’s a way of looking at things from a fresh perspective. 

It may be that we have a slightly unorthodox approach, it might be a little bit unsettling at first, because it’s something different, something we haven’t done before. But sometimes it’s worth a go. 

Trying to think of an example here, so let’s say Scrabble. 

You’ve got a random selection of letters that come out of the bag, you might not have the best start. If you’re full of J’s and K’s and W’s and X’s, it’s really really hard to figure out what sort of word you’re gonna make. 

But you have to make the best of your situation. 

Sometimes games can help you think “well, okay this is where I am, what can I do to help myself?” 

Now again, you might be able to say well I’m going to get rid of all my Scrabble letters and get a new set. But if that’s going to be your go, you know you are not going to score very many points – so you have to start thinking creatively. 

What about when there’s a time limit? 

Say in boggle, again another word game. But this time you’re up against a clock. 

Can you make decisions under time pressure? 

Creative thinking, thinking outside the box, with a time limit, it all gets quite a lot.  And being able to do this in the board game world, means that we can take those skills that we’ve learned, that we’re practiced, and we can take them out into the real world. And then we can use them there. 

Creative thinking, problem-solving, we might do that as a group. It may be that you have a cooperative game, that requires some kind of problem solving. You might be able to think slightly differently and come up with a very good idea that can get your group out of trouble, and actually kind of win you the game. 

It might be that you have a real lightning-bolt level of realisation of “oh my goodness, if I just do this, I can check mate my opponent’s King in chess!” 

There’s all sorts of ways that board games help us to develop our creative thinking skills. So that’s just one of the ways that board games help with real life.