Games can help your kids think outside the box, learn new skills, and challenge their growing minds. They're also a whole lot of fun. Here are some great brain games for kids.
Many parents want to engage their kids in mentally stimulating activities. Yet, between soccer practice, ballet lessons, and homework, time is of the essence. That's where brain games for kids come in. They keep kids engaged while getting them to think outside the box. Kids enjoy playing them so much, they don't even realize they're learning new skills and challenging their minds. Here are some classics the whole family can enjoy.
Jenga isn't just a party game, it's also a brain-boosting tool. It teaches kids the concepts of balance and gravity. Players need to plan their moves out in advance (strategy!) and work on executing them perfectly, helping kids develop their fine motor skills.
Chess requires a great deal of memory and concentration. It also helps develop strategic and critical thinking skills. No wonder it's used around the world in schools as a brain-boosting activity. Kids can learn the complex rules of chess as early as kindergarten, but if your little one is having trouble getting the basics down, checkers is a great alternative.
Rubik's Cubes can be a challenge even for adults, but with enough perseverance and persistence, kids can push themselves to solve them (although it may require the help of a YouTube video or two!). In doing so, they can learn important principles of math and science, including basic algorithms and how to solve complex problems. As a bonus, anyone who has ever tried to solve this tricky puzzle knows that it's also a great way to teach the value of determination and patience.
Why not involve the whole family in a brain-boosting activity by breaking out a favorite board game? Board games push kids to develop problem-solving skills, while teaching them the importance of turn-taking. For older kids, look for games that involve strategy, rather than just luck of the draw. Some favorites include Scrabble, Battleship, and Clue.
There are dozens of amazing card games, such as Uno, Phase 10, and classic playing card games such as Go Fish that can help improve memory and concentration and teach kids valuable social skills, such as cooperation. The added benefit of these games is that they're portable. Just stick a deck in your bag and bring it out at a picnic at the park or in a doctor's waiting room.
These brain games for kids are a great way to engage children (young and old) in mentally stimulating activities—all while having good fun.
By Rebecca Desfosse
Empowering Parents, 6 Brain Training Exercises for Children and Teens
Parenting, Board Games That Increase Brain Power
Parents Magazine, The Return of the Rubik's Cube
Johns Hopkins School of Education, Educational Value of Chess