With the earlier notion that we are born with fixed intellectual capabilities standing defeated, there has been renewed interest in Free Brain Games for Kids.
Latest research suggests brain is much 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, problem solving, logical reasoning and ultimately building IQ, parents indeed face a dilemma in choosing the right game.
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 stimulating games that you can play with your kid – without spending a penny! All you need is an old pen and paper.
Brain Games for Kids
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!
Riddles have been one of the most popular brain teasers for kids across ages. Riddles force children to piece information together and think of an answer.
Thus, exercising their mind and building problem solving skills & cognitive skills. You can try some of these fun riddles for kids.
3. Skip Counting
Practice skip counting with your child with this fun math game for preschool. 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.
Such fun educational games are great for keeping children entertained while travelling.
4. Dot and Boxes
This 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 strategising.
5. Guess who
“Guess who” can be played with children as young as 2.5 year 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 children and countries, continents for the older ones.
6. I Spy
This fun mind 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 for preschoolers and kindergarten, 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 children 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. Talking Thesaurus
Another great 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.
This is one of the most unconventional brain development game for kids. Allow them to dig deeper and think beyond the obvious by playing this game. It is an amazing conversation starter and helps breaking communication barriers for children.
For those who are Harry Potter buffs, here is a special Harry Potter Would You Rather Questions for more fun!
Help your child explore geography with this word atlas game. Played like classic antakshari, the first player names a city, state, country or continent with the ending letter of ATLAS (that is ‘S’). The next player must come with a country starting with the ending letter of word called out by the first player.
Players get eliminated if they cannot think of the word with the given letter. The last one standing in the game, wins!
Include monuments, rivers, national parks to make it more interesting.
12. Back in Time
This is a much loved brain game for 5 year olds. All you need to do is say the days of the week, months of the year or colors of the rainbow in backward order.
Another classic mind game for students, 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.
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
We adore fun educational games. And word maze is just that! In fact, for me it doubles up a relaxation technique. 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.
This is a great game for kids 5 years old and above. 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. What’s more these games are perfect at banishing boredom.
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 innovative Brain Game for children 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!
21. Nature Walk
This is the simplest and most effective brain break for kids. Children need to go for a Nature Walk more often now than ever, when there is so much exposure to the screen and constant performance pressure.
Nature Walk activities help kids reconnect with nature, enjoy its beauty and feel recharged to take up the subsequent tasks most efficiently.
22. Guessing Games
Guessing games are great at exercising children’s brains and making them think. Easy to play and perfect for any age, these guessing games for kids provide wholesome family entertainment anytime, anywhere!
Trivia is great way to test your child’s existent general awareness and at the same time build their knowledge bank.
Be it a lazy afternoon or a family night, Trivia questions for kids is sure way to get them excited and build their mental muscle the playful way!