Parenting: Spring Break brain games

Thursday, March 22, 2012

If your tween or teen is counting the days until Spring Break, what can you do to keep their mind sharp while away from school?

A wonderful article in the New York Times about brain games recently featured the concept of Lumosity - challenging your brain to improve memory, focus, spelling, math skills and name recall.

The concept is simple - your brain needs care just like the body and improving it means tapping into the latest information in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. The information comes from genius researchers at some of the top universities in the U.S. and it's a free website.

The great thing is your child won't even realize you're keeping their mind sharp because the games are so fun!

Here's a synopsis of the top five games to start with. Enjoy!
WORD BUBBLES: Come up with as many words as you can that begin with the three letters provided. Keep a list and make it a friendly competition between you two. This game improves language, tip-of-the-tongue word finding and thinking outside the box.

RAINDROPS/PROBLEM SOLVING GAME: Play this math game to improve your numbers skills and get fast.

PLAYING KOI: Try feeding the fish without feeding the same fish twice. This game requires intense focus because the fish look so similar and move so quickly. It's a twist on the old shell game idea.

SPEED MATCHING: This game requires you to race against the clock and match symbols. It improves your reaction time.

FAMILIAR FACES: This memory game requires you to be a waiter and remember your customers' names and orders to earn higher tips and promotions.

My son already loves the games that he has apps for like Hanging with Friends and Scramble. Both games are similar to the old Scrabble board game, but are animated.

I'm hoping to try these other games to challenge him in a new way. Try it with your school-ager and see what you think.

For more information on these games visit:

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