With the earlier notion that we are born with fixed intellectual capabilities standing defeated, there has been renewed interest in Brain Games for Kids. Brain is now considered more like a muscle. Thus, implying that more you exercise it, better it gets.
While there are thousands of games out there promising to enhance critical thinking, logical analysis and ultimately building IQ, parents indeed face a dilemma. You cannot possible buy all those games. And even if you do buy selected few, there is no guarantee that your child is going to enjoy it.
That said, we really looked into the dynamics of Brain games and came up with this amazing list of age-proof Brain Games that you can play with your kid – without spending a penny! All you need is old pen and paper.
Brain Games for Kids
1. Tic-tac-toe: Remember this game you have been playing since grade one. Tic-tac-toe is an excellent strategy building game. There are many versions of this classical game in the market like the wooden one and magnetic tic-tac-toe.
We prefer the old paper pen mode more. To make it more eco friendly and reduce paper wastage, just put a plain sheet in a transparent folder and use dry-erase markers. Your very own dry-erase tic-tac-toe is ready.
2. Atlas: Help your child explore geography with this word atlas game. Played like classic antakshari, you have to name a city, state, country or continent with the ending sound of word. Include monuments, rivers, national parks to make it more interesting.
3. Talking Thesaurus: Another great brain game to enhance vocabulary, help children think and recall is talking thesaurus. Your child picks a word and takes turns in listing all the possible synonyms of that word. Dig into the dictionary or thesaurus if you may wish.
4. Dot and boxes: Classic Brain game that has been around for decades. Again all you need is paper and pen. Great for exercising the brain, this game will surely get your kid thinking and strategizing.
5. Guess who: One of our favorite brain games for kids. “Guess who” can be played with children as young as 2.5year olds. All you need is to drop three clues about an animal and your little one has to guess it.
You can turn it into “Transport Guess who” if your child is into vehicles. The possibilities are really endless. Our suggestion is to include fruits, vegetables, animals for younger kids and countries, continents for the older ones.
6. I spy: This brain game targets concentration skills. And the best part is that it can be played anywhere, in the house or on the move. Ask your child to spot a particular alphabet while you are navigating on city roads.
When at home, keep them busy by asking them to spot colors used on the walls, display pieces or furniture. Alternatively, you can also use their beloved storybook to play some I Spy.
7. Odd one out: A really easy brain game, it requires you to list four objects and ask your child to figure the odd one out.
For example: Figure the odd one out from Pencil, Pen, Crayon and Book. Book is the odd one out since the remaining three are writing equipment.
8. JAM with Letters: This is one Brain game for Kids that can be played in a group as well to add more fun. Bring on some healthy competitive spirit by playing Just A Minute with letters.
Call out a random letter and thechild who lists most words starting with that letter wins.
9. Skip counting: Practice skip counting with your child with this fun game. Played in a group, this game is great for exercising the brain. All you have to do is agree how many numbers to skip. Participants clap on the numbers skipped and say out the number coming after skipping.
For example if you choose to skip 2 numbers, the starting player says 1 followed by two claps from the other participants (denoting 2 and 3). The next person says 4 and the game continues.
10. Would you rather questions: This is one of the most unconventional brain game for kids. Allow them to dig deeper and think beyond the obvious by playing this game.
11. Riddles: Riddles have been one of the most popular brain games for kids across ages. Riddles force children to piece information together and think of an answer. Thus, exercising their mind.
12. Back in Time: This is a much loved Brain game for kids. All you need to do is say the days of the week, months of the year or colors of the rainbow in backward order.
13. Unscramble: Another classic Brain games for kids, this one can never go out of style. Make simple unscramble puzzles yourself with the words your child is learning at school or reading in their books.
This will not only provide a brain workout but also help them remember the words and their spellings.
14. Crosswords: Play a simple game of crosswords on pen and paper. You don’t really need a set grid. Write a word in capital letters and encourage your child to make another word using the letters listed.
15. Word Maze: This one game I personally adore. It doubles up a relaxation technique for me. Involve your child in a word maze with you and uncover as many hidden words as possible.
16. Word recall: This brain game is a great memory and concentration booster. Say 3 words or numbers in tandem and ask your child to repeat them in the correct order. Increase the number of words/ numbers as your child gets better.
17. Sudoku: This is a great game for children five years and up. There are plenty of 4X4 free prints available online. All you need to do is just to google them.
18. Clapping games: Remember the clapping games from your childhood? These games are not just fun but also great at building brain. So play your old clapping games with your little one to build hand-eye coordination, rhythm and impulse control.
19. Hand Slaps: Another excellent game to sharpen your kid’s mind, hand slap is simple game to build great reflexes and enhance concentration.
All you have to do is fold your palms and let your child try to slap them. Your aim is to miss the slap while your kid’s aim is to slap your palms. Play turn-wise and have oodles of fun.
20. Creative prompts: This Brain Game for Kids target their imagination and creativity. What you have to do is give your child a few prompts in form of words like Lion, Jungle, Rabbit and your child has to build a story around these prompts. Simple and creative!