Brain Exercises for Children

Kids are of two basic types. Some kids would rather watch cartoons and play barbaric video games than go out and have some fun playing games that involve physical movement. And the others will simply find excuses to get out of the house and tire themselves out thoroughly, playing and running around. A healthy balance between the two is the ideal way to keep it. Along with physical exercise, kids also need some good brain exercises that will help them improve their comprehension, concentration, and reaction skills. And that’s exactly what we’ll talk about in this Buzzle article. We’ll give you some fun and simple brain exercises that you can involve your kids in. They’ll love them!
Brain Teasers
The most enjoyable way to engage your kids in a brain exercise is to give them a set of brain teasers. Now, don’t simply hand them a list and ask them to solve the riddles. Let them have a little fun. Organize a small party and have all the kids come over. Then instead of the usual party games, have the kids divided into teams and have a competition of which team answers more riddles correctly. Give them the answers that they couldn’t guess and they’ll see how simple they were. It will definitely tickle their curiosity and they’ll want to solve more and more such brain teasers.
Memory Games
Another great way to help kids use their brain capacity more than they currently do, is to play some interesting memory games. There are different types of memory games that you can play with them. You could play the standard one in which you lay out 2 decks of cards face-down and the kids proceed to pick up one card at a time and find its partner. Another game is keeping a tray of twenty odd objects in front of the kids for about 15 seconds. They have to memorize all the objects and in the next 1 minute, they should write down the names of as many objects as they can. Continue this till they guess all the objects and then change the objects. Have different rounds, with increasing number of objects.
Pop Quiz
The kids might not really enjoy this one, but they’ll definitely appreciate it later on. What you need to do is plan and prepare simple pop quizzes, about daily events and happenings, things and people that they see around them every day. Simple and very easy questions, but ones that they generally tend to ignore. For instance, what is the name of the gardener, or what day does the newspaper-boy come to collect his pay, and things like that. Offer them a prize for most number of correct answers, but set a minimum level. Surprise them with such quizzes often, and they’ll remember to pay more attention to the things around them.
Reflex Games
If you want to improve the concentration level of the kids, then a good way to do it is to come up with different types of reflex games. You can have the kids sit in a circle and you stand in the middle with a big ball. Suddenly, throw the ball at one of the kids and see how fast he reacts. You can also blindfold the kids and slowly, without making much noise, go behind them in a random manner and clap loudly right next to one kid’s ears. He or she should raise their hands when they hear the clap. This way, the kids will learn to pay attention in the silence and anticipate the sound of the clap.
Stroop Effect
J. Ridley Stroop came up with an experiment to gauge the reaction time of people reading a particular series of names of colors. This experiment involves first showing the person a list of colors, written in the same color as the name. Check it out below and you’ll know what exactly it is.

Read the names of these colors and record your time.

RED  BLUE  GREEN  BLACK

Now, read the ‘names’ of the colors in which they are written, not the word themselves.

GREEN  PINK  BLUE  BLACK

You will see that even you find it difficult to say the second set of words out faster than the first set. Ask your kids to do it, until they get it right. Increase the number of words and colors as you wish to make it more challenging.

Well, those brain exercises should keep the kids occupied and engaged in a productive activity at least for some part of the day. They need a refresher once in a while to get away from the burden of studies and the constant exposure to TV and computer screens. So keep them interested and they’ll remain intelligent.