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Brain Boosting Fun

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Multi-function puzzles

Puzzles have always been great ways for younger kids to learn. But there are puzzles that teach more than one thing. Watch for puzzles that might teach the ABCs or ones that help kids connect patterns or ones that teach them about new fruits or vegetables. The puzzles that we showed were from “Parents” and helped teach more than just matching shapes with openings.

Labyrinth Maze

This is the movable maze that has been around for decades. It is best for those over 6 years old. The floor of the maze tilts as you maneuver the ball around the pitfall holes. It is made by Brio and even comes in easier versions if you want to start easy and work up to the traditional maze. It helps teach concentration, memory, and hand-eye coordination.

Sudoku

This is the number version of a crossword puzzle. But crosswords force you to have a large vocabulary to start with. But that isn’t needed with Sudoku. All you need to know is numbers. Each digit appears in every column and every row, as well as in each smaller square. It teaches reasoning skills and helps to process information. There are different skill levels available. Sudoku books can even be purchased at dollar stores and you can download puzzles for free at www.sudokuonline.com.

Video Games

New studies show that playing video games helps keep your mind young and alert. That is reason enough to know that they are boosting your brain power. But then when you play a game that specifically tests your knowledge, you’re getting a double workout. The Nintendo DS is a small handheld device that has several games that teach everything from foreign language to math to vocabulary. The Nintendo Wii also has a game “Big Brain Academy” that runs you through a series of visual tests to see how quick you can think and reason.

Set

This is a card game that gives your brain a workout. There are different patterns on various cards. You have to find a set of three cards that either match all the characteristics or match none of them. It’s a little difficult to explain, but once you start playing, it’s addictive. And beware, children normally catch on quicker than adults.

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