Inside: Get kids thinking with this collection of brain games and logic puzzles for kids.
What do we love so much about puzzles? What is it about a puzzle that entices children and adults of all ages? Puzzle-solving and problem-solving are not only great for brain development, they provide emotional benefits, too. Our minds are actively engaged, distracting us from other stressors in our lives and, in solving them, we are rewarded for our patience and persistence!
As a teacher, I’ve noticed that certain logic puzzles and problem-solving brain games seem to attract more attention. Perhaps the shapes, colours, and novelty of these puzzles make them more engaging? Whatever it is, I highly recommend the following six games for puzzle-lovers and small big, ages 7 and up!
Brain Games & Puzzles That Get Kids Thinking!
1. Chocolate Fix: The goal of this game is to place nine chocolate candies in their correct positions using a series of picture clues. The thinking required is similar to Sudoku, but the stand-up binder used to display the clues and the introduction of colorful 3-dimensional shapes make it easy to solve the puzzles with a partner or even as a group of three. I’ve even used this one in a classroom with up to twenty students by projecting the clues on my Smartboard or screen while the students manipulated foam cutouts on paper plates.
2. Combination Lock Puzzle: If you’ve ever played any version of ‘Guess My Number,’ using clues to give hints, you know how well it reinforces math concepts and reasoning. In this free, online game, clues about the digits in a combination lead to unlocking a lock. While it doesn’t have the most appealing design, it provides hundreds of puzzles at multiple levels and will give extra clues to ensure success. Zoom in to make the clues and combination lock larger, and add or modify clues for younger children.
3. Kanoodle: This award-winning puzzle is for future mathematicians and engineers! The puzzle pieces can be arranged in over 200 ways, and the clues are provided for both two-dimensional and three-dimensional puzzles. It reinforces spatial reasoning, critical thinking and The quality and portability of this puzzle make it great for puzzle-solving on the go! There is also a junior edition available for younger children (4 – 7 years).
RELATED: 10 Kids Memory Games That Help Improve Memory, Concentration and Thinking Skills.
4. Logic Links: Kids really enjoy placing the coloured chips in their proper positions using the clues provided on each card. Especially good for strengthening deductive reasoning skills, Logic Link puzzles adapt to any time frame. Take out just one or two cards for a quick brain break, or solve one after another until your brain wears out! Mindware produces a collection of wonderful games, toys and puzzles!
5. The SET Game– The SET game takes a little time to learn, but it exercises your brain in a way that I’ve not found in any other game or puzzle! The cards display three different types of symbols or shapes (oval, diamond and squiggle). The cards display these shapes in varying numbers (one on a card, two on a card, or three), colours (red, green or purple) and shadings (striped, solid, or outlined). Sets of three cards are made according to the criteria given. The instructions for the game are given here, and it really does get easier the more you play. Adults and kids enjoy the challenge! In fact I play the online version myself regularly to keep my brain sharp!
6. Colorku– This is Sudoku with colors rather than numbers and, again, because of the three-dimensional quality, it is highly attractive to kids. The clues come in varying levels of difficulty on very sturdy cards. Leave this out on a table in your house and watch everyone in the family get involved in solving the puzzle! The colored balls and base are made of wood, so this one will last for years of puzzle-solving fun.
These games are great for home or school. They’ll get the kids thinking and problem solving without them even realising they’re doing it! In fact, they might just be a little addictive…for the adults too!