The visual arts are just one example of using creative expression as a brain exercise.
Dub a segment of a TV show with your own script. Record the show, then play it back without sound. Have each player pick a role and make up dialogue for the part. When everyone is ready, play the recording silently again to your voice-overs. Try the same thing with an animal show like a National Geographic special. It’s bound to elicit belly laughs.
Play a family movie on silent and accompany it with different kinds of background music (scary, romantic, etc.). Notice how the music transforms what you’re watching and creates new associations with the event.
Make a video about whatever strikes your fancy. Invent a story, conduct “man-in-the-street” interviews, or film the commonplace—your pet in the backyard, or a family meal from preparation to eating and cleaning up.
Play “smell and tell.” Each participant closes his eyes, sniffs an aroma that is held under his nose, and tells what associations come to mind.
Form a band using real or made-up instruments such as pots, pans, a bottle, comb, coffee can, etc.
Assign parts and read a play aloud. Or choose a monologue, and then memorize, prepare, and stage it as an actor would.
Singing or reading aloud promotes interaction of the right and left brain and activates normally unused pathways.
Listen to a piece of music and try to identify the instruments playing. Jazz and blues are good for this exercise. Go to a concert or watch a music video, and then listen to a recording of that. It’s a novel way to “see” with your ears.