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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Games that Benefit the Brain





Here is an update on a prior post:

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.

I have also written two other blogs that review more games that benefit the brain as well as games that benefit visual processing.

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

Executive Functioning Games:  about 5-10 minutes
 
  • Visual Processing
  • Working Memory
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Hemisphere Integration
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Nonverbal Reasoning



Blink:   about 2-4 minutes

  • Visual Processing
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Nonverbal Reasoning

Set:  about 5-10 minutes

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




Reading Games Bundle Digital Download: depends on the game 5-30 minutes
Reading Games Bundle Digital Download
  • Core reading skills
  • Orton Gillingham Based or phonics based approach




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




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








Hey What’s the Big Idea: About 3-15  minutes
Hey, What's the Big Idea: Main Idea and Detail Game Download
  • Processing Speed
  • Simultaneous Processing
  • Word Finding
  • RAN Rapid Automatic Naming
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning




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



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





Word Shuffle: about 15 minutes
Word Shuffle Figurative Language, Literary Term and Grammar Game Digital Download
  • Processing Speed
  • Word Finding
  • RAN Rapid Automatic Naming
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning
  • Linguistic Skills



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




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




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




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



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

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



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


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




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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