Probably one of the most universal goals of parenting is to raise children in a safe environment conducive to responsible health and building the different types of intellect. No matter what facet of smartness they choose to nurture, there exists activities and games to keep them succeeding in both school and life. In addition, because proper nutrition filters directly into proper brain functioning, parents who wish to facilitate the intellectual growth of their children should review which foods to feed them and which to avoid. The following list provides a few eclectic suggestions on how to bolster a kid’s brain to keep him or her happy, healthy, and constantly growing in his or her education.
1. Crossword Puzzles Both online and off, crossword puzzles stimulate the brain in children and adults alike – also serving as excellent periphery education in vocabulary-building and other topics.
2. Word Searches Like crossword puzzles, valuable vocabulary-building word searches require a hefty amount of concentration to strengthen mental fitness.
3. Mazes Another excellent exercise in concentration, mazes also build problem-solving and memory skills as well.
4. Risk This classic board game is perfect for building up the strategy skills of older kids – and more savvy parents may like the idea of using it as a foundation for historical and geographical lessons.
5. Chess One of the quintessential strategy games, this ancient activity facilitates critical thinking and concentration in young minds.
6. Sudoku Sudoku has grown to become an exceptionally popular pastime, with many people young and old appreciating it for the mental stimulation and math skill building.
7. Video Games Contrary to heavily alarmist popular belief, video games actually possess numerous redeeming qualities. Even the ones sans educational content build eye-hand coordination and critical thinking abilities.
8. Checkers Another classic strategy game, checkers also nurtures strategic and critical thinking skills in a manner requiring far less memorization than chess – making this ideal for much younger children.
9. Card Games With the hundreds of different card games floating about, parents can pick out any number that appeal greatly to children and stimulate specific proficiencies.
10. Mancala Mancala games exist in numerous forms, but all of them require participants to strengthen their counting skills and concoct viable strategies to defeat their opponents.
11. Memory Games Any sort of memory game – be it electronic or analog – keeps the mind nurtured by galvanizing concentration.
12. Go Also known as weiqi, Go involves a considerable amount of strategy to always keep participants on their toes and keeping their minds active.
13. Pool and Billiards Both pool and billiards require considerable strategic thinking as well as spatial awareness – it is a far more involved and intellectual activity than many realize.
14. Scrabble The well-beloved board game Scrabble involves vocabulary-building and strategic thinking, providing parents with a great way to intellectually stimulate their children’s impressionable minds.
15. Jenga How many budding young engineers, architects, and construction workers learned the fundamentals of structural integrity by playing Jenga as children?
16. Logic Puzzles As one can probably assume, logic puzzles build intelligence and foster far stronger critical thinking and analysis skills needed to succeed in school and life alike.
17. Word Scrambles Any sort of word scramble, anagram, or similar game does nothing but galvanize vocabulary abilities as well as boosts concentration.
18. Cranium Perfect for kids and parents to play together, the delightful board game Cranium is specifically designed to facilitate growth in most facets of intelligence.
19. Trivial Pursuit Available for all ages and skill levels, Trivial Pursuit may focus mainly on brief facts on a wide number of topics – but this does nothing but encourage kids to study and do research on their own!
20. Scattergories Parents hoping to encourage clearer communication and stronger vocabularies in their children would do well to set them loose upon Scattergories’ immensely fun word challenges.
21. Pictionary Pictionary fosters creativity in children and adults alike, encouraging them to think beyond the usual restraints of conformity and order.
22. Monopoly Monopoly remains a much-beloved board game ever since its creation in 1933, and success involves considerable (and stimulating!) strategy, fundamental math skills, and other elements of intelligence.
23. Role-Playing Games Dungeons & Dragons and its ilk have become saddled with an unfair stigma. When played like a game – and therefore not taken too seriously – it actually challenges kids to think creatively and strategically.
24. Apples to Apples This extremely fun, humorous game requires a fair amount of creative thinking and strengthens the vocabularies of younger children as well!
25. Clue Older children who play Clue actually build up critical thinking and concentration skills as they navigate an always entertaining, ever-changing murder mystery.