What are the best brain training exercises for your school age children?
If you are a parent of a school-aged child, then you may be wondering how you can help your child develop the critical skills that are needed in order to succeed in school. Children are expected to sit in their desks, pay attention to directions, memorize a multitude of facts, and concentrate for sustained periods. Because of all the distractions that are present in the lives of today’s kids, these types of skills don’t come easily. The good news is that parents can aid their children by having them practice brain training exercises.
What are Brain Training Exercises?
Brain training is engaging your child in creative problem solving activities, puzzles, and games that help stimulate their brain. Brain training exercises can be on the computer, a board game, or in books. They help your child to:
- Learn and remember more
- Pay better attention
- Retain information
- Process information more quickly
Brain training exercises are beneficial for all children, but they can be especially beneficial for children with:
- Learning disorders
- Speech disorders
Below is a list of 3 key brain training exercises that can be fun while teaching your children essential skills.
Exercise #1: Memory and Concentration
If you’ve ever wondered how to improve brain memory power, then taking part in memory and concentration games can do the trick. For kids young and old, you can line up toys or other objects, take one away, then ask them which one is missing. Start with just a few toys for younger kids. Another way to improve memory is to have them remember short lists, such as objects you see in the home or outside. Have them remember them forward and backward. There are also plenty of memory and concentration games online and, of course, the old favorite Memory board game.
Exercise #2: Puzzles
No one has to wonder why puzzles are good for child development, as we all know that puzzles are like a mental gym. They can develop skills such as:
- Fine motor skills: children are asked to move small pieces, circle words, move knobs, or make pieces fit into slots
- Problem solving skills: All puzzles have a goal that requires children to use critical thinking to figure out the solution
- Cognitive Skills: Children have to follow directions and recognize colors, numbers, letters, and many other concepts
- Hand-eye Coordination: Children must learn what fits and what doesn’t fit with jigsaw puzzles and other types of puzzles
If you think your child needs a bit of a challenge, try the serpent cube puzzle. This is an object that contains 27 cubes that are connected by a rubber band. Expanded out, they resemble a serpent, and the goal is to fold them in such a way as to create a 3x3x3 cube. It can be quite difficult, like the Rubix Cube, so you may have to look for the serpent cube puzzle solution online.
Exercise #3: Mindfulness Workshops
Sometimes the brains of children can become so scattered with thoughts that asking them to focus on a task becomes impossible. This is why incorporating a little bit of mindfulness into their lives can reap tremendous benefits. There are some schools and organizations that hold mindfulness workshops, which is something that parents can duplicate at home.
Ask your child to be still, close his or her eyes, and focus on his or her breath. While breathing deeply, you can ask your child to empty his or her mind and not think about anything in particular. You can even introduce a few Yoga poses if you want to take it a step further. Mindfulness means being conscious of yourself, your feelings, and your actions instead of being distracted and pulled in the many directions life offers. Kids can utilize this exercise when they feel nervous before a test or at any other time they feel overwhelmed.
Brain training exercises train the brain how function at its optimal level. No matter what age or skill level your child is at, you can guide them to be better learners by offering them the three exercises above and the many others you may find along the way.
Christy McNeil – a mother-to-be, a freelance writer. She loves cooking, crafting and sipping tea. Christy is now writing for SiamMandalay, a Thai handicrafts business based in Thailand who developed wooden puzzles and traditional games.