In this imagination-based warm-up game, participants get to practice their divergent thinking skills by transforming fabric into a multitude of things.

Game Type: Warm-up

Theatre Skills Addressed: Divergent Thinking, Improvisation, Non-verbal Communication

Recommended Age Levels: 5+

Number of Participants: 5-20

Materials: A piece of fabric, about a yard square, solid color or pattern

How to Play: Participants stand in a circle. The leader shows the fabric to the participants, saying “What could this piece of fabric be? We’re going to pass it around the circle and each of you will show us something that it could become.”

The leader demonstrates,turning the fabric into something (for suggestions, see Examples below) and stating what it is. The fabric is passed from person to person, with each participant sharing an idea. If an idea is repeated, such as “a hat”,the leader could ask the participant to be more specific (“What kind of hat?” – a turban, a bonnet), thereby making the participant come up with her own idea.

If the number of participants is small enough, the fabric can travel around the circle twice.

Examples:

Here are some of the answers that students have provided to the question, although the possibilities are endless.

  • A Superman cape
  • A Diaper
  • A Magic carpet
  • A Flag
  • A Picnic blanket
  • A Dog’s leash
  • A Toga (“One of those things they wore in Greece” was the original description)
  • A Leg cast
  • A Wig

Advice/Tips: 

  • Treat the ideas students generate as brainstorm answers – don’t suggest improvements or criticize. As long as students keep to the “appropriate for class” rules, let them come up with terrible ideas.
  • There will probably be a participant or two who “can’t think of anything.” They can move to the last position in the circle, which will give them more time, or pass the fabric to the next person.
  • It’s also likely (especially in a younger group) that there will be a participant who is so bursting with ideas that he is yelling out suggestions whenever someone pauses to think. Encourage him to save his ideas to share after everyone’s had a turn.

Variations:

Instead of having the person with the fabric state what it is, the participants watching can guess –this often happens organically.

For older participants (probably 10+), you could limit the ideas to a category such as clothing, or things that are the color of the fabric.

You can have a group answer “What could this be?” for many different types of objects. With my son’s Odyssey of the Mind team, I’ve used fabric, a megaphone, and a section of dryer vent tubing (edges taped!).

me Type: Warm-up

Age Range: 5+

Number of Participants: 5-20