Lateral thinking, or thinking divergently, or ‘outside the box’, is natural process which enables us to learn and think creatively . Basically it is the ability to think freely and imaginatively, and to be more inventive.
The notion of thinking ‘outside the box’, as distinct from straight logical thinking, was popularised with the publication of the book ‘Lateral Thinking’ by Edward De Bono in 1970. Since the publication of the book, academia has acknowledged the importance of lateral thinking, and many people have struggled to enhance their lateral thinking skills.
It is now widely recognised that regularly solving puzzles keeps your brain active and healthy, and that solving lateral thinking puzzles can increase your ability to think creatively, or laterally. Scientific evidence shows it can actually increase the number of neural pathways in your brain, which would seem to indicate that solving puzzles on a regular basis can actually lead to an increase in individual I.Q. levels.
There are two main types of lateral thinking puzzles. One type is an ‘open ended’ form, which encourages imagination, but actually has no definitive answer, so lacks the stimulus for serious critical thinking. The second type is the ‘closed lateral puzzle’, which also encourages creative thinking, but has a logical definitive answer, and therefore requires the exercise of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
For those who love challenging puzzles, but are sick of boring logic and I.Q. puzzles, then the lateral thinking “Aha!” puzzles, written by Lloyd King, can entertain, as well as train your brain to think creatively. Lloyd’s puzzles are quite unique, they are not frustratingly open ended like lots of other lateral thinking puzzles, but have easily understandable logical solutions, which are solvable without obscure specialist knowledge . They are also very visual, with original and colourful graphics, and often very funny, with quirky answers.
People unfamiliar with the concept of lateral thinking will find Lloyd King’s puzzles ideal for enhancing their ability to ‘think outside the box’, stimulate their logical thinking skills, and encourage them to engage their creativity and imagination, while having fun. Even if you find solving some of the puzzles a little difficult at first, looking at an answer will inspire you to think more creatively in the future. Children can also benefit from being shown the puzzles, together with their solutions, as they are full of puns and humour which is very amusing. It is now widely accepted that we all learn best when we are enjoying ourselves, and Lloyd King’s lateral thinking puzzles, provide a true learning experience, which is also a very entertaining way to train your brain.
You can find Lloyd’s puzzles in his books, and on his website www.ahapuzzles.com.