When kids say they’re bored, today’s parents are often tempted to drop them in front of a screen to get them entertained. But studies are showing this isn’t a good idea.
Fortunately, many activities keep kids occupied while also stimulating their brain development. That’s two birds with one stone that every family should consider.
As parents, you want to give them every opportunity to succeed. One of the ways you can do this is by promoting healthy brain development. Games are the perfect medium for this. But not all of them are created equal in helping your child grow mentally.
Play-based learning is the key. This method boosts cognitive development by helping kids learn problem-solving skills and self-regulation. If you want to learn more, Littlescribblers explains play based learning in their blog.
In the meantime, here’s what every parent should know about the power of games for kids.
What Are Games?
Games are so intuitive, it’s hard to explain them. The best way to describe them is as any kind of activity people do to pass the time. Humans start playing games as soon as they develop certain physical and mental faculties.
Most games are classified in the following ways:
- Educational games: These are designed to teach children specific skills such as math, reading, and problem-solving. These help them learn new concepts and improve their understanding of existing ones.
- Puzzle games: Puzzles challenge kids to think critically and use logic to solve problems. These can help children improve their problem-solving and spatial reasoning abilities.
- Strategy games: These require children to think ahead and plan their moves to succeed.
- Creativity-based games: Games that allow children to use their imagination and explore their creative side, helping them develop their artistic, musical, and storytelling skills.
Great Games That Boost Development
After knowing the different kinds of games that exist, which ones can help kids with their cognitive development? According to experts, these are great ones to start with:
Chess is a classic strategy game that has been played for centuries. The goal is to checkmate the opponent’s king, which means putting it in a position where it cannot escape capture.
Playing chess can help children to develop several essential skills, such as:
- Strategic thinking
- Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles involve putting together small pieces of a larger picture to form a complete image. They can be a fun and challenging way for children to improve their ability to perceive large-scale forms.
There’s no shortage of jigsaw types nowadays. There are wooden, 3D, floor, and shape puzzles, each with its own perks and gimmicks that suit any taste. Note that you should give your kids puzzles that are challenging but not too complex for them to complete.
Scrabble is a word game played on a board with a 15×15 grid of squares, each of which has a letter value. Players place tiles with letters on them on the board to form words. The game’s goal is to score the most points by creating words on the board.
Playing Scrabble can help children exercise their vocabulary, spelling, anagramming, strategic thinking, and creativity. When playing with children, it’s vital to consider age-appropriate words and difficulty levels.
Sudoku is a logic-based number-placement game. The goal is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 sub-grids composing it contains all numbers from 1 to 9.
Playing Sudoku can help children cultivate their:
- Logical reasoning
- Memory Games
Memory games are another fun way for children to exercise their brains and improve their cognitive skills. Some examples of memory games include:
- Memory match
- Spot the difference
- Memory palace
- Memory cards
- Building Blocks
Building blocks are a type of construction toy used to create various structures and designs. They come in many different shapes and sizes and can be made of wood, plastic, or foam. Building blocks can be an excellent way for children to develop their creativity, fine motor skills, and problem-solving abilities. Plus, they have the added benefit of having no set rules for using them, giving kids lots of leeway to do what they want.
- Board Games
Board games are a classic form of interactive entertainment. They can be played with family and friends and can be an excellent way for children to learn new skills, practice social interaction, and have fun.
It’s important to note that not all games are appropriate for all children. Always check the age rating before allowing your child to play a game. Also, playing games with your child is recommended to help them understand the rules and learn strategies. It’s also the perfect opportunity to bond with them. So, as much as possible, make it a family thing.
Growing Through Play
Games can be a fun and effective way to promote healthy brain development in children. The wonderful thing is that there are many options to choose from. By picking something that promotes problem-solving, strategy, critical thinking, memory recall, creativity, and social interaction, parents can help their children develop essential skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
You may also like: