Smart games take your child’s brain to thinking gym

Smart games take your child’s brain to thinking gym

As the third school term winds down in just a few days’ time, take your child’s brain to thinking gym this holiday by encouraging the use of Smart Games – the key to boosting cognitive development.

According to parenting expert, Nikki Bush, global research indicates that the brain functions “way better” when exposed to activities like brain teasers, brain games and even logic puzzles.

“These kinds of games are vital for cognitive development, they stimulate the brain in many ways. But it’s important to provide children with a variety of gaming opportunities to stretch the brain, stimulate logical thinking and give the mind a proper work-out. And the good news is – the whole family can join the fun,” Bush says.

In this article Bush explores the benefits of Smart Games, why parents should encourage them and shares her personal picks.

The benefits:

• Improves concentration
• Enhances memory and processing speed
• Encourages systematic thinking
• Formalises step-by-step thinking

“There is nothing like a real game with problems to solve to get the brain working, as well as to switch track and switch off from normal, mundane and everyday things,” Bush says.

Be on the look-out for

But choosing a Smart Game is not that simple, instead, Bush says there are several important elements parents need to look-out for when choosing a game, she suggests the following:

• The game’s tasks should be graded from easy to expert
• The theme or topic should be of interest to your child
• The instruction booklet or problem cards should be fitted with solutions for your child to verify

Game types

• Chess
• Crossword puzzles
• Sudoku
• Logic puzzles

“These are just a few noteworthy gaming options that does exactly what we need them to. And the added bonus is – they’re entertaining and engaging and boost social and interactive skills as well,” she says.

What you didn’t know

Bush says Smart Games “lay the groundwork for computational thinking” and parents should consider this as an option before enrolling kids into robotic courses to develop kids’ tech skills to help nurture future techies.

“Games of logic provide the foundation for coding, which in actual fact is step-by-step problem solving,” Bush says.

Points to ponder:

“Solving a brain game is such a satisfying ‘I can’ experience for any age group. Put that problem solver’s hat on and get thinking. It’s guaranteed to benefit everyone for a long time to come,” Bush says.

This school holiday, the Child Development Team at Toy Kingdom will encourage the use of Smart Games with gaming days in-store. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids to a Toy Kingdom store (Clearwater Mall) between 29 September and 7 October to experience some of these amazing Smart Games in action. Kids will have an opportunity to square up against each other with Color Code – a fun colour stacking challenge; Quadrillion, the ultimate solitaire game; and Parking Puzzler, a unique deduction game to stimulate your detective skills – to name just a few.

“Smart Games help families collaborate, and teaches them to really enjoy problem solving. And no smart game is too difficult for children, there are ways around it,” Bush says.

Available at Toy Kingdom:

Smart Games – Colour Code; R359.90

Smart Games – Quadrillion; R359.90

Smart Games – Parking Puzzler; Available from 2nd October at Toy Kingdom @ R249.90


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