Try this Holiday Activity: Creative Mystery Box

We often ask children to be more creative, but do we give them enough opportunities to exercise their imaginative thinking skills?

Research proves that creative thinking flourishes with practice. The more you do it, the easier it gets. In this activity, you will challenge students to come up with creative and original responses to the following prompt: What is inside the box? Who is it for? This exercise helps students practice creative thinking and reflect on their own ideas.

THE ACTIVITY:  Print this activity here: creative-mystery-box 

1) Wrap any size box in colorful paper. You can leave the box empty, or place items inside the box that add weight and/or generate a unique sound when shaken. If you have a large class, you might want to wrap a few boxes.

2) Ideally, divide students into groups of 6-8 people. Place the wrapped box on a table or the floor. Ask students to stand or sit in a circle around the box so everyone can easily reach it when it is their turn.

3) Give students two minutes to think about the prompt: What is inside this box? Who is it for? During their thinking time, encourage students to hold and shake the box.

4) While they are thinking, ask the following questions to jumpstart their thinking:

  • Must the gift be for a human?

  • Must the gift be an object?

  • Must it be a gift at all?


5) When the thinking time ends, give each group five minutes to go around the circle providing answers to the prompt. The only rules are:

  • No repeat answers.

  • No skipping turns.


6) As you walk around the room and listen to responses, take a moment to positively react to extremely creative and unexpected answers. Jot them down.

7) When the activity ends, ask students to reflect on these questions:

  • What were some of the most creative answers? Why?

  • What did you notice about your first answers versus your later answers? Did they get more or less creative? Why?

  • Name one unexpected lesson you learned in this activity. Why?


We hope you enjoy this activity. Let us know how it goes.

And Remember try Kiddovate's Visual Thinking Cards

Each deck features 50 double-sided cards with imagery that develops creative thinking skills. This tool supports oral and written language literacy, visual fluency, critical thinking, and collaboration. Find them here.

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