10 Brain Workout Games & Activities For Children
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on Jan 21, 2019
We all want our children to grow to be independent and intelligent in thought and action. Problem-solving is an essential life skill, which needs to be taught to our children. During their formative years' children learn the most through modeling, observation, and imitation. Important life skills like problem-solving do not always develop by themselves, they need to be taught. For this, you need activities that encourage understanding. In the long run, your child should be able to break down information in parts, put the learned content together and ask meaningful questions on the same.
Unfortunately, our children spend more than half of their time in school rote learning and reproducing notes, sometimes with zero understanding and application. Academic learning often fails to provide enough food to develop brain different parts of the brain. Games like the abacus definitely make children confident and sharper to some extent, but not necessarily intelligent and observant enough to solve a wide range of real-life problems and tricky situations. [Read - How to Help Your Child Develop Brain]
Game Options That Can Give Child A Good Brain Workout
How to help a child develop problem-solving skills in early childhood. These games and activities can help your child develop their problem-solving skills while having fun together...
Guess What:Design verbal games to help them process information. Take any ordinary, everyday object and think up some clues to help your child guess what it is. For e.g., “it’s a piece of paper, has four corners, is tied to a string and flies like a bird in the air” – Kite
Odd One Out:Help develop your child’s analytical skills through this is a simple game
- You present a set of objects, pictures or words and your child has to identify what does not belong in the presented category, what stands out as odd, or which object has nothing in common with the others, for e.g. Dining table, sofa, refrigerator, and cupboard
- Ask reasons for his/her answer to help encourage logical deduction
Word Chain:This simple word association game helps exercise your child’s brain and develop their vocabulary. Give him/her a category of objects for e.g. Desserts’, ‘summer’, ‘space’ - and ask him/her to think of as many words as possible in this category
Listen to Repeated Word:Good listening skills are essential for proper communication and for effectively processing information
- Say a few words in series and repeat one single word in a pattern
- Then ask your child to identify the repeated word
- For e.g. “Crab, chocolate, carrot, crab, cucumber, cream, juice, crab bottle, socks, board, crab” …and so on
Board Games and Puzzles:Board games are a fun family activity and help develop your child’s problem-solving skills while working in a team. For e.g. Battleship, Monopoly, or jigsaw puzzles
Discuss Social Stories:Help your child develop their emotional intelligence and empathy by discussing social issues
- You could pick a story from the news, or even create a fictional situation
- Discuss the characters’ emotions and feelings and how they handle and resolve situations
- Encourage your child to share his/her thoughts, feelings and opinions
Project Work:Working on small projects with your child can help develop their planning abilities and problem-solving skills
- From the starting idea to the finished product - write the process in simple steps on flashcards using simple words and sentences, along with pictures
- Make a separate list of all the things that would be required. If those things are unavailable, go to the market together and buy them
Encourage Questions:Create opportunities to ask questions like “What do we do next, what else do we need to finish the task, what are the different ways we can use an object, etc. For e.g., you are preparing food in the kitchen, involve him/her with you and seek their assistance once in a while
Think of Solutions:Create situations in the form of a story and let your child think of a possible solution. Think of random situations related to your immediate environment and ask him/her to think of possible solutions, e.g.,” Oh! The puppy is not eating food today, what do we now? What else can we make for him? Is he okay and feeling good?”
End the Story Your Way:Let them think of a suitable ending for their favorite story. You will be surprised to hear some interesting versions. You may at times a different version of the same story
Things to Keep in Mind During Brain Activities
Always remember the intention of playing such games is not to make your child smarter by acquiring more information but to exercise their thinking and reasoning skills. The complexity of each game can be increased as per your child’s interest and performance level...
- Do not point out any errors your child makes such as spelling, pronunciation, etc. during the activity, as that disrupts their flow and imagination
- You can make a note of any errors and discuss them after the activity
- It is important to let them make and learn from their own mistakes!
- Encourage questions and be patient with your little one
- Remember to keep it light and have fun!
Try games that really stretch their brains and make sure they are well supported by appropriate input. Children are hungry to learn new things and ways of seeing the world!
Did you find Sugandha’s activities to help develop problem-solving skills useful? How do you teach your child basic life skills? Do share your experiences and learnings with us in the comments section below. We love hearing from you!
| Aug 28, 2017
Board games like chess and ludo not only ensure that your pre-schooler has fun but also boost his brain capacity. Let us look at six such games. https://www.parentcircle.com/article/top-6-brain-boosting-games-for-pre-schoolers/