Play at Home: Brain Games

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Play is good for the body and brain.

Playing is fun, but it can also be a great way to keep your kids thinking while at home, and over the summer. It’s important to keep kids learning, and there are many ways to integrate learning into playtime, particularly for elementary school students. Here are a few Brain Games you can play at home with your kids to keep them engaged and learning! 

    • Buzz—This is a fun math facts game. Begin by picking a number to buzz, such as 3. Now players count together, taking turns. When you get to 3, a multiple of 3, or any number with the digit 3, that player must say the word buzz as a placeholder. The pattern for the number 3 would go like this: 1, 2, buzz, 4, 5, buzz, 7, 8, buzz, 10, 11, buzz, buzz, 14, buzz, and so on.
    • Math War—Use a deck of cards and give each player half the deck to hold face down in their hand. Together, they turn over the first card in their hand and must say the sum (or product or difference). If they say the answer correctly first, they get to keep both cards and place them at the bottom of their deck. The game continues until one person gets all the cards.
    • Rhyme—Beginning at a young age, children learn how to rhyme. Give each other a word then see how many words you can rhyme with it. Take the challenge a step further and create a rhyming poem together. This helps kids continue to think about and learn new words, as well as boost their creativity!
    • Brain Teasers—These puzzles can be fun for kids and adults of all ages, but they also get kids thinking outside of the box and force them to problem solve. You can find tons of brain teasers online, but check out this collection of brain teasers for kids organized by category (math, language, or visual depending on what you want to practice)!
    • Dots and boxes— Play pencil and paper games to work on critical thinking, strategy, and problem solving! To play Dots, you need a square of dots on the page (start with 6×6 and challenge your kids to go up to 30×30 or more). Once the square is created, players take turns with a different color pen creating line segments between dots. When a player forms a square with their line, they may put their initial in that square and play again. The game continues until all the lines between the dots have been drawn.
    • GhostThis spelling game is great for older kids. The challenge is to add letters to a word fragment—but not be the one to complete the word. Start with a random letter, and then each player takes turns adding new letters. They must be legitimate parts of a word. If you do finish a word (say, it’s your turn when “BREAKFAS” gets to you; your only choice is to finish the word “breakfast”), you get a point. Get five points and you’re out. For younger kids, just challenge each other to spell different items you see in your house or outside!

Find more games that you can Play at Home

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