Brain Games for the Season
Everywhere you look these days it seems that there is information about building our brain’s capacity and skill. “Change your brain and you’ll change your life,” they say. Could it be true? Dr. Amnon Gimpel, who wrote Brain Exercises to Cure ADHD, thinks so. He believes that specific targeted brain exercises can actually be effective in stimulating permanent brain growth and development. Well, if we can build stronger cognitive skills, it is surely reasonable to believe that our academic skills can become stronger, too. This is really exciting, especially for those of us helping students of every age with special needs!
Can you guess the best way to exercise the brain? Did you guess play games? If so, you are right. How fun is that? There are so many brain games that you can play; new ones as well as those tried-and-true old ones. There are hands-on games, online games, app games, and even leisure mental games (like the ones you play on a long drive). Soon, you will become a pro at including this new approach to building your child/student’s brain into your regular activities.
Another fun dice game to match picture designs with 1 to 6 dice, which also requires logic and reasoning, plus patience, to let the “dice roll as they will”.
Also quick, this game primarily builds visual processing skills plus attention and focus.
Use any type of cards to create your own matching game to build short-term memory and attention.
A 3-D version of a jigsaw puzzle requiring strategy along with all the other brain skills described above.
A quick game that helps build attention and focus, plus visual discrimination, while following multiple, simple directions.
A fun game to practice and build memory of basic math facts up to 12; mostly adding and subtracting.
Helps build strategic planning, visual discrimination, and attention skills. Start with big puzzles (24 pieces or less) and gradually build up.
The games you want to look for are those that help practice and teach the following cognitive skills:
Attention Skills: The ability to attend to incoming using sustained (focused), selective (regardless of distractions) and divided (multi-tasking) attention.
Memory: The ability to store and recall information both in short-term or working memory and in long-term or stored memory.
Logic and Reasoning: The ability to reason, form concepts, and solve problems using unfamiliar information or novel procedures.
Auditory Processing: The ability to analyze, blend and segment sounds which is the crucial skill needed for learning to read.
Visual Processing: The ability to perceive, analyze, discern/discriminate and think in visual images.
Processing Speed: The ability to perform simple or complex cognitive tasks efficiently and effectively.
Lynda Sloan Allen, is the owner of Make Your Mark in Life Learning Center in Vero Beach, FL. Lynda is the leader of a team of extraordinary tutors who focus on the whole development of the child by developing cognitive/brain and social/emotional skills along with academics in every tutoring session. Her website is filled with great information: www.makeyourmarklearningcenter.com
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2014 Magazine