Remember back when you were a kid and loved playing games? No? Well, perhaps you should get in to playing games again because not only is it fun, but playing games can also increase our brain power! From board games to card games to games to play on a road trip, the possibilities to enjoy yourself while strengthening your mind are endless. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Jigsaw puzzles challenge your short-term memory as well as improve hand-eye coordination. The more pieces the puzzle has, the more exercise your brain will get. For a real challenge, go for border-less puzzles or place the pieces upside down so only the plain white side is showing.
Sudoku is sort of like a crossword puzzle, only with numbers instead. Also, there are no clues. You just have to fill in the numbers where they fit. Ok, it is not really like a crossword puzzle at all. Sudoku works off nine-space grids, where numbers one through nine have to be used, but only one time each. Once you get the hang of it, move from the easy puzzles to the hard ones. After that, you can even make your own Sudoku puzzles.
While chess may be the game synonymous with skills and masterminds, checkers is no joke. You must strategize, think ahead, play defense, play offense and remember which color you are. Often times checkers can be played outdoors, which only adds to the brain enhancement of it all.
- Phase Ten
Phase Ten is a card game made of just that—ten different phases, or tasks, that you have to complete before you can move to the next level. Unlike the other games on this list, Phase Ten requires having at least one other player. This not only makes the game more competitive, but simple conversation also works to increase brain power.
- Brain Yoga
Brain yoga is the term used to describe coordination-type tricks you can train your body to do. For example, make a fist with your left hand. Extend your thumb. Now do the same with your right hand but instead of your thumb, extend your pinky. Not so easy, right? Mastering this strengthens neural connections, which also will help both memory and other gray matter functions.
Games are not just a fun way to pass the time. Whether you are alone, have only one friend, or have a large family who enjoys each other’s’ company, games are a great way to increase brain power while having a good time. If you really want to go all out, try having a game night with a bunch of friends or family and serve healthy snacks for everyone to enjoy.