The counting and number recognition required for card games help sharpen math skills.

Games to Increase Brain Development in Children

by Susan Revermann

Since so much of a person’s neural connections are made in the first years of life, it is important to offer stimulating games to increase your child’s brain development during this time. Certain types of games can help increase his ability to process information, problem-solve, remember information and understand concepts. By providing educational games for your child, you will not only help maximize his brain development potential, strengthen old neural connections and make new ones, you will also be keeping him entertained and occupied.

1. Math Games

Kids' math games can include brain developing tasks like measuring, creating patterns, sorting, counting, fractions and spatial awareness. These games utilize problem solving skills, trial and error, and cause and effect to enhance your child’s learning. Look for kid-friendly games like sudoku, picture mazes, dominoes and sorting shapes. Certain card games require counting, number ordering and number recognition. Teach your kiddo card games like Go Fish, War or Rummy.

2. Word Games

Hand your child some word games to keep her entertained. Word search games exercise her ability to spot and distinguish visual information. Fill-in-the-blank word games require your child to make the distinction between nouns, verbs and adjectives, as well as recall words in her own vocabulary to complete the task. Crossword puzzles requires her to recall information from the clues provided and spell out certain words.

3. Search-and-Find Games

Search and find games get your child’s brain working. Memory games require him to recall certain shapes or patterns within a group of cards or game pieces and pair them up. Locator games, like “Where’s Waldo” and "I-Spy" are stimulating tasks that make your child sort through numerous visuals to locate the right object. Scavenger hunts and treasure hunts are active learning games that require problem-solving skills.

4. Puzzles

Puzzles can be offered to your child to increase brain development. Not only will putting a puzzle together help develop his hand-eye coordination and give his fine motor skills a workout, your child will also increase his visual spatial awareness and problem-solving skills as he puts it together. Depending on your child’s age, you can offer him an alphabet or shape puzzle or, if he is older, you can give him a more advanced design to work on.

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