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Name uses

Field of application #Ideation
Resume / Brief description

It´s clearly convenient to activate the creative attitude of participants in an ideation session before they start to ideate. As they come with their own worries and their analytical approach, starting the creative labour inmediately it´s not recommended. Playing a short and funny game that demands some creativity is the best way to start an ideation session.
This brain warming thechnique is a good activity to start an ideation session. It´s a game where participants activate their neurons by trying to imagine new and creative uses for everyday objects. 


Category: Ideation


Target group
  • Entrepreneurs
  • I&D teams
  • Innovation teams
  • Students
  • Community
Group size

1 to any amount



To take participants to a creative attitude by activating their creativity in a gameful activity




  • Pen and paper for each participant
  • a word processor or any other platform that allow users to write


  • 3 to 10 minutes
Implementation - Overview
  • This is a very fast an easy game. The steps are:
    Show the participants an everyday object
  • Ask them to think and write as many new uses they can come up with for that object
Implementation - Guidelines

Be sure that every participant has a way to write (pen and paper if the activity is in person).
Tell the participants that they will have just 3 minutes to think of as many new uses as they can for an object.
To increase difficulty (and creative outuput), explain that each use will give them one point. In small groups you can add this rule: uses proposed by two or more players will cancel each other and will award no points.
Set the timer and show them the object. To do this you can use a deck of cards from the WakeUpBrain Toolbox set or, even use any object present on the room.
Once time is up, tell the participants to stop writing.
You can allow some of the participants to read aloud some of the new uses invented. This will motivate the group and will send a clear message that creativity is welcome.

As a possible game extension, you can ask the participants to make a drawing showing the more creative use they thought of. Drawing always helps wake up their creativity even more.

Now you are ready to challenge their brains with the real problem to solve...


Example of application:

In a big program to promote entrepreneurship, several ideation sessions were conducted to find new products or services. To increase the efficacy of the sessions, a "brain warming" game was played before. "Name uses" was one of those games. To play the game, the facilitators asked a participant to take a random WakeUpBrain card without looking at it. One the time limit was announced, the element on the card was showed to the group and the ideation started.
After playing the game, the participants showed less creativity blockages and the level of originality increased.
The game became so popular that the groups asked to play it even in no-ideation sessions. 


Templates, Graphics for download

Additional format/references