Observing a Group’s Creativity

Inspired by my ongoing research and learning about creativity, I ordered The Storymatic Kids cards. These are cards with simple words or phrased, that when randomly drawn and combined prompt players to develop stories using them on the spot. Tonight my family used them together with a family that are friends of ours and newly arrived in the United States from Africa. The cards are great for creativity and good for developing English skills are well.

Each person drew cards and took a turn making up and telling a story, encouraged by others. This encouraging environment went a long way toward greasing the wheels of creativity. For example, there was much laughter during the storytelling and applause after each one was finished. This helped break down barriers of nervousness and made it a fun activity for everyone.

In this setting, there was no “power-structure” and next to no organization – whoever wanted a turn next merely needed to speak up. This openness, and the aforementioned encouragement, led to a nice variety of storytellers; many different individuals (mostly children) got to take a turn. The more they repeated doing this, and the more they saw others try different things when storytelling, the richer the stories became. This was an interesting “proof” of the power of group creativity: the stories became richer as more were told, not because each person created them alone in a vacuum.

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