OK, it’s the first day of December so I guess it’s now alright to get a bit festive. We’ll be doing a few run-downs of gifts for creative thinking. And today’s list is all about cards that help to feed your creativity. Along with links to buy them. But this list isn’t just for Crimblefest – it’s suitable all year round.

Maybe leave this page open on your loved one’s computer as a bit of a hint. Or treat yourself. Here are half a dozen items for your wish list.

Storymatic

Your creative muscle gets stronger the more you exercise it. And Storymatic is a brilliant – and fun – way of doing that. Cards give you characters and scenarios and you use them to improvise stories. This can be done sober or with the help of alcohol; by yourself or with a group of other amateur storytellers. Your stories can be short and simple or expert story-arcs with developed characters and plenty of conflict. Highly recommended.

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Thinkpak

This is an extension of Michael Michalko’s book, Thinkertoys. It’s based on the popular SCAMPER technique for idea generation: Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to some other use, Eliminate and Reverse. So these cards are designed to nudge you in different directions and generate as diverse a range of ideas as possible. They work.

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Oblique Strategies

These are considered to be the original idea generation cards, created in the early 70s by the legendary music producer, Brian Eno, and the German artist, Peter Schmidt. There are over 100 cards to inspire you and help you out of sticky situations – beautifully presented in a leatherette box. The instructions are to pick a card and stick with it, even if the application is immediately unclear. And often it is. But the spooky thing is how often the cards seem to hit it bang on. They can be really hard to get hold of but it seems that Amazon has them right now.

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Cards that give you the gift of ideas (at any time of year)Click To Tweet

Storybox

If you’ve got kids, this is a beautiful way of sparking their imaginations – as well as yours. There are story elements on sturdy jigsaw-like cards. You grab a few random pieces and snap them together. Then you use the images to tell your story. You can be literal and just describe what’s on the cards or apply your imagination to take it somewhere new. It’s a great idea to take it in turn with your kids to tell the story, encouraging them to embrace their imagination and articulate their thoughts. More fun than the Disney Channel, guaranteed.

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Cards against humanity

If you enjoy crying with laughter in good company, these are the cards for you. A lot of creativity is about making connections between objects and concepts – and that’s what this game is all about. It’s best played with some booze. And best avoided if you’re easily offended. If you’ve not got a pack already, get one now.

If you enjoy crying with laughter in good company, these are the cards for you. A lot of creativity is about making connections between objects and concepts – and that’s what this game is all about. It’s best played with some booze. And best avoided if you’re easily offended. If you’ve not got a pack already, get one now.

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Artefact Cards

At Open for Ideas, were big fans of Artefact cards. You may have seen a little promo for them on this very page. They’re brilliant for helping you organise information, force yourself to think differently and generate ideas. You can use them to play with ideas in as many different ways as you can play with cards. And we’ll soon be sharing techniques with you to show you how to use them in new ways. Grab a few packs and whip them out when you need to play with ideas.

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We’ll shortly be sharing books, notebooks and apps for your wish list. If you’ve got any suggestions, lets us know.

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OK, it’s the first day of December so I guess it’s now alright to get a bit festive. We’ll be doing a few run-downs of gifts for creative thinking. And today’s list is all about cards that help to feed your creativity. Along with links to buy them. But...
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Dave Birss
Founder and Editor at OpenForIdeas.org
Dave is obsessed with creativity. He's been a musician, illustrator, stand-up comedian, poet, radio DJ, television presenter and advertising creative director. He also wrote A User Guide to the Creative Mind.
Now he runs Open for Ideas and helps individuals and companies become more creative.
You can find him speaking at conferences all over the world. And sharing his thinking in boardrooms, universities and dimly-lit pubs.