By Steve Gillman
Classic thinking games are a great way to tune up your brain. You can use these mind games to help you increase your brain power and to get you out of your thinking "ruts." Play them enough, and they'll habituate you to using creative problem solving as a normal part of thinking about things.
Thinking Games For Groups
Group thinking games are especially good for long trips in a car. Have someone look out the window, for example, and randomly choose an object. Everyone in the car then tries to imagine a new way to make money with it. Common street signs become places to advertise, trees are sold with names, and a truck becomes a traveling grocery store.
Use the "change of perspective" technique as a problem-solving game. Just pick any topic, and see who can come up with the most unique new perspective. Could there be a world where jobs weren't necessary? How would a virus define morality if it was conscious?
One creative thinking game uses a technique called "concept combination." You simply combine random concepts or things in interesting ways, and see who has the best idea. A chair and a microwave? Maybe an easy-chair with a built-in cooler, microwave and television, or microwavable "couch potatoes" - a potato snack in the shape of a couch.
More Thinking Games
A lateral thinking puzzle you can try right now involves nine dots, layed out three by three. Connect them all with four straight lines, without lifting the pen or pencil from the paper. When you figure this one out you'll appreciate the expression "thinking outside of the box."
Many lateral-thinking puzzles use a scenario, real or imagined, with a selection of things you have to use to accomplish something. Imagine a ping-pong ball in an iron pipe that's set in cement. The pipe sticks up three-feet high, and has almost the same diameter as the ball. Using only a box of frosted-flakes, and a t-shirt, and your body and mind, how many ways can you find to get the ball out of the pipe? You could also set this up for real, to know if a proposed solution will really work.
Many riddles are just mind games or lateral-thinking puzzles. You move laterally in your mind, away from your usual line of thought, to solve a riddle. For example, what did his friends do when the canibal was late for dinner? They gave him the cold shoulder, of course! Keeping your brain in shape doesn't have to be a matter of serious study. Why not play some thinking games?
About The Author
Steve Gillman has been studying brainpower and related topics for years. For more on How To Increase Brain Power, and to get the Brain Power Newsletter and other free gifts, visit: http://www.IncreaseBrainPower.com.