Whether you’re a caregiver or parent, making the most of the time spent with a toddler or other young child is usually a priority. Between work, school and extra curricular activities, most people look for ways to make play time also educational time. But it still has to be fun! The good news is that brain games with toddlers and young children can also boost an aging brain’s potential, so take a few notes and make a date to play with your child.
Strictly mental brain games
These games are great because they travel well and require no ingredients or supplies. And a perfect way to start is to play the rhyming game. In this activity, everyone must speak in rhymes with one another. You can rhyme last words, or go for a more poetic stance (especially with older children) and have each line spoken contain the same number of beats. It may sound corny, but having an entire conversation in haiku with your preteen can be pretty entertaining.
You can also play a brain-contained tic-tac-toe game. In this brain game, each player visualizes the board, assigning numbers to each square. As players mentally place their X or O, the player’s must remember which box is taken. For younger children, the grid can be made in the air with fingers if everyone needs a little reminder!
Artistic brain games
If your child has an aptitude for the arts, you can play with them by making an interactive drawing or comic book. Each “player” takes a turn writing the words, or drawing the action to a block in the comic strip. This is a great game to play with an older child, but can be modified to play with a toddler by having the adult draw the pictures and allowing the child to dictate the script.
If you have access to an art museum, and the time and ability to research some of the work there, you can create an artistic scavenger hunt for your next trip. The older child may have to find an obscure piece of art, or identify a style of art, while your toddler can look for the mummy or simply find all the “red” art. You’ll be exposing your child to the history and breadth of the art world, and keeping them entertained on the hunt.
Tried and true mind games
Reading together, doing a puzzle, playing charades and board games are all wonderful brain games that we sometimes forget even though they’re right there and available all the time. Taking the time to read a picture book and read every word (this is the hard part right?!) and look at the pictures lets your child immerse him or herself into the imaginative nature of reading, You can ask what will happen next, or how a character feels to plug in deeper to the story.
No matter what you choose, time spent with a child in a one-on-one activity is almost certain to stimulate the brain. From the rambunctious toddler to the older preteen, there are ways every day to incorporate brain games into tasks. If you have something great that you do, leave a comment and share the knowledge! We can all use help along the way to keep our children tuned in a having fun at learning.
About Liz Alfano
I write "Dirty Words," the blog about things you should know, but might not. I'm the mother of two elementary school-aged boys and wife of one adult aged man. When not writing, I can be found reading or staring into space wishing I was either reading or writing. Sometimes I'm seen vacuuming...but not often. www.mydirtywords.comWeb | More Posts (53)