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Monday, September 23, 2013

Games that Benefit the Brain

Most kids love to play card and board games, but did you know that many offer benefits far beyond the obvious social gains. Many of these activities are actually good for cognition and can exercise the brain.

There are three types of benefits:


1. Brain Breaks: Some games offer quick “brain breaks” that can be used during homework completion. A quick reward, when stamina is low, can energize the brain and regain focus.

2. Brain Integration: Other games can help integrate the brain. Some students can lack integration between the two hemispheres of the brain and these activities activate the whole brain.

3. Cognitive Remediation
: Finally, there are games that help to strengthen specific areas of cognition and they can serve as a form of cognitive therapy. By exercising these parts of the brain, new neural pathways can develop and areas of weakness can be strengthened and even remediated.

Here is a table that reviews some of my favorite games, lists of the cognitive gains and offers links to the products.



GAME: Time to Play
COGNITIVE BENEFITS
WHERE TO PURCHASE

Spot it:  about 2-4 minutes


  • Visual Processing
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Hemisphere Integration

Amazon:  See link below

Blink:   about 2-4 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Nonverbal Reasoning

Amazon:  See link below

Set:  about 5-10 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Speed of Processing
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning
  • Nonverbal Reasoning

Amazon:  See link below

Q Bits:  depends on the number of rounds played - 2-30 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Spatial Relations
  • Speed of Processing
  • Attention to Detail
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning
  • Nonverbal Reasoning

Amazon:  See link below

Master Mind:  depends on the number of rounds played - 10-30 minutes

  • Visual Processing
  • Visual Reasoning
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning

Amazon:  See link below

Doodle Dice: about 15 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail
  • Spatial Relations
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning

Amazon:  See link below

Blokus: about 30-45 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail
  • Spatial Relations
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning

Amazon:  See link below

Logic Links: depends on the number of rounds played - 3-30 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning

Amazon:  See link below

Word Around Game:  depends on the number of rounds played - 5-30 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Sequential Processing
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning

Amazon:  See link below

Scattergories the Card Game: depends on the number of rounds played - 5-30 minutes
  • Simultaneous Processing
  • Word Finding
  • Speed of Processing
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning

Amazon:  See link below

Scattergories the Board Game: depends on the number of rounds played - 5-30 minutes
  • Simultaneous Processing
  • Word Finding
  • Speed of Processing
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning

Amazon:  See link below

Pictionary: depends on the number of rounds played- 5-60 minutes
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Fine Motor Dexterity
  • Speed of Processing

Amazon:  See link below

Apples to Apples: depends on the number of rounds played- 10-30 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility

Amazon:  See link below

Cranium: depends on the number of rounds played - 5-30 minutes

  • Auditory Processing
  • Visual Processing
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Hemisphere Integration
  • Fine Motor
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Sequential Processing

Amazon:  See link below

Jenga - depends on the number of rounds played- 5-30 minutes
  • Fine Motor Dexterity
  • Motor Planning
  • Nonverbal Reasoning

Amazon:  See link below



I hope you found this helpful. If you know of other card or board games that you find beneficial, please share them in the comment box below. I will then update this blog to reflect your ideas.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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