Get the team warmed up and ready to start thinking and sharing visually.
Get comfortable with the idea of sketching together.
Demonstrate how quickly our minds can recognize patterns with very little detail or effort.
Have some fun.
Use this play when
Before sketching, whiteboarding, or other forms of visual ideation and communication.
Not everyone on your team is going to be comfortable with sketching, so sometimes it's helpful to start with a warmup. This one is delightful for every skill level, fast, and takes almost zero prep time.
Materials & tools
Your choice of whiteboard, stack of paper, or sticky notes
Sharpies, pens, markers, etc
You can do the same exercise remotely using tools like Mural + tablets and videoconferencing, or by drawing individually and showing birds to the camera or uploading to a shared space.
First, don't give away the name of this exercise! Instead, start by telling the team the purpose of it, for example, “to warm up our brains and get pens in hand,” and then dive right in. This adds an extra layer of progressive reveal and fun.
Give everyone a sheet of paper and a Sharpie and ask them to draw some random squiggles. Demonstrate if need be. Encourage messiness.
Ask them to add a beak, bird feet, an eye, and maybe a triangle for a tail. These parts can go anywhere, so the bird might be looking up, down or to the side. Suggest adding anything they like to their birds. Accessorize! Demonstrate to get everyone moving.
Point out how well the mind will find and recognize patterns, which is why sketching is so easy and efficient.