BUFFALO, THE NAME DROPPING GAME

  • Refines conversation skills
  • Increases memory cognition
  • Improves concentration and logic
  • Helps improve social interaction skills

Card games that are easy and fun to play are a great way to bring people together when hanging out with friends and in many other social settings. Buffalo, the Name-Dropping Game fits into both of these categories because of its’ simplicity in design and the opportunity for many people to play at once. As an added bonus, players will practice valuable skills that can be applied in many other social and educational situations. 

Memory cognition, concentration, and logic are all important skills that can be developed when playing Buffalo. Players must connect card descriptions to a possible person or character, making answers endless. Connecting these cards to form responses that gain points requires concentration and memorization to do effectively. The mechanics of playing will require constant problem solving through memory cognition, testing a player’s ability to remember character descriptions and how quickly he or she can spot and recollect patterns. The fast-paced nature of the game helps to develop quick and accurate decision-making abilities. Games like Buffalo can be especially beneficial to children as a way to introduce and practice these skills through play.

Card games are a well-known source of entertainment, but the additional benefits they can offer are worth considering. Playing card games like Buffalo is a unique opportunity for people to connect, socialize, and strengthen relationships. Positive social interactions like this are a key component in setting a foundation that builds confidence, self-esteem, and effective communication skills.

THE POCKET CALCULATOR

  • Aids in visual cognition
  • Refines logic skills
  • Helps enhance technical knowledge
  • “fact check” accuracy for mental validation

Pocket calculators are a great tool that assist children in school every day. Unlike cellphones or computer calculators, a pocket calculator will not distract children from school work. An advantage of the pocket calculator is the design simplicity – there are no additional applications on the device. A calculator is largely used with the intention to be a shortcut to mathematical procedures such as multiplication or division. However, children who are learning these concepts should do most of their work mentally or by paper, so they can properly learn and practice. In these instances, calculators should be used primarily only as an assurance that mental calculations are correct.

The calculator also serves as a helpful visual aid  when learning difficult equations. They can be used as tools to explain abstract concepts or long calculations. A child will have a better understanding of this information by physically punching in these calculations, rather than if he or she were to do it by hand. This hands-on style of learning is more effective than visual aids because it requires physical practice and engagement. While calculators do not replace knowing basic equations, they are great for teaching children how to learn and apply certain concepts that will arise in real-life situations, such as calculating percentages.

Studies have shown that when children use calculators, things like spatial visualization skills, critical thinking ability, and logic skills will all improve. A child that is proficient in basic math can then apply this knowledge to the calculator to help solve more complicated problems. In subjects such as Algebra and Calculus, children benefit from these types of calculators, as the focus in these subjects is on the formulas, rather than the number calculation. This simple device is a very valuable education tool that streamlines the process when learning to advance through more complicated math concepts.

SPLITTING IMAGE

  • Helps engage in problem solving
  • Reduces stress
  • Promotes critical thinking and creativity

Brainteasers are a popular game choice for parents, teachers, and children because these games promote learning in an entertaining way that children also enjoy. Parents gravitate toward these types of games because they are both fun and educational. Puzzles such as brain games help develop a child’s critical thinking skills and mental stamina. In fact, educators also integrate them into lessons and daily schoolwork. Different brain games build up different types of skills. Splitting Image is great for children who may need to develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking. This game also develops visual and manual dexterity. The game itself consists of a small mirror, cards with patterns on them, and pattern playing pieces. A player will choose a card and then attempt to replicate the pattern seen in the mirror. With each attempt, a player will learn from the pattern. Replicating the pattern on the card against the mirror by manipulating the puzzle pieces requires patience and deductive reasoning Splitting Image fosters creativity, problem solving, and visual perception. Every pattern card is a new challenge that keeps players actively involved in the game.

Brainteaser games help to improve critical thinking skills. The problem-solving aspect keeps the player engrossed, while the level of difficulty in the game or puzzle will challenge and build on previously learned skills. A game like Splitting Image employs critical thinking skills through the design patterns on the cards. Each pattern is unique, so the child has to assess each card and learn to use the mirror as a tool. The patterns are visually pleasing which stimulates the brain as well. Splitting Image can boost creativity and challenge players to use new ways of thinking.

Brainteasers are a fun and rewarding way to pass the time or combat boredom. These are a popular choice with teachers and students to break up the school day with something fun that is also educational. Being able to disconnect and solve tangible problems in the form of puzzles and games is an excellent way to reduce stress as well. Unlike other activities like video games texting, or using social media, playing games such as Splitting Image keeps the mind active. Studies have shown that after playing with mental games, children are relaxed and more able to focus on the task at hand. Whether in a classroom or at home, brainteasers make learning exciting.

SPIN AND LEARN COLOR FLASHLIGHT

  • Motor skills
  • Learning numbers and colors
  • Imagination

Children at an early age are very receptive to sounds and colors. Incorporating these things into learning tools are a great way to take that curiosity and focus it on learning. The types of toys we give children to play with can have profound influence on the way that they learn skills. Many types of toys for young children can be used as a way to jump start education.  One good example of these educational toys is the Spin and Learn Color Flashlight. Toddlers will have fun listening to music and animal sounds while interacting with the lights and colors of the flashlight. Numbers, colors, and animals are repeated through different games on the Spin and Learn Color Flashlight. The repetitive nature of the themes and activities helps children learn numbers and colors in a fun and engaging way. Toys using sound and lights to stimulate learning through the senses are likely to be the ones found most appealing to toddlers and young children.

The flashlight has different buttons and switches with different activities that will provoke curiosity. Playing with this toy enhances motor skills through different types of touch for every learning activity. The toy has a special button in the shape of a ladybug, which when pushed, also encourages movement as well. The buttons are designed to do different things depending on how many times or how hard they are pushed. For example, number buttons on the flashlight have two functions. One press will activate the numbers and two times will play music. Children who play with this will start to learn these push patterns and learn how to remember which features to activate.

The functions of the Spin and Learn Color Flashlight encourage toddlers to use their imagination. Versatile toys with multiple features and options such as this flashlight are great for encouraging imagination and creativity. Toddlers and young children will enjoy hours playing with these types of toys that cultivate knowledge and help shape and exercise their developing senses.

THE GAME AWKWARD MOMENT

  • Increases critical thinking and logic
  • Improve memory cognition
  • Helps improve concentration
  • Improves social interaction

Is everyone in separate rooms playing video games or watching TV right now? If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Technology has drastically changed the way we spend our free time. The rise of social media, video games, and TV apps means people are spending more time on these socially isolating activities than ever. Game nights used to be a popular choice for people to relax and have fun while spending quality time together. With recent studies being published about the negative effects of screen-based activities like social media, people have recently shown more interest in going back to some of the more “old fashioned” activities that used to make us happy. Gathering friends or family for a board game night is a great option for catching back up on some of the quality time that might have gone missing. Many board games, such as the game Awkward Moment, also offer benefits that might be unexpected at first glance. Board games are created for entertainment by design, but they can also give players the chance to learn and practice many different useful life-skills. Activities like this that require us to use our brains are ultimately better for us overall than relying on passive entertainment like TV. 

The game Awkward Moment is created to reflect real-life situations that anyone could encounter day to day. In the game, players analyze the ‘awkward moment’ card being played and pick the best reaction card, according to the instructions of the ‘decider’ card. A new ‘decider’ is picked for every round. The ‘decider’ card may say that best answer is to pick sometime like “what a teacher would expect you to do” or “the silliest thing you could do”, in response to the chosen ‘awkward moment’ card. The player who has been designated as the ‘decider’ will determine the best reaction card for the awkward moment and the player with the winning reaction card earns a point. This game is great for people of all ages and gives everyone an opportunity to be creative. Since Awkward Moment is a strategy game, there is critical thinking and logic involved during play.

Board games that require strategy such as Awkward Moment can be especially beneficial for children. Playing these types of games requires the use of many critical thinking skills such as deductive reasoning, pattern spotting, and logical decision-making. By practicing these skills through games, children will have an easier time making connections that will enable them to apply this knowledge in school. Another benefit of Awkward Moment is that it will improve concentration skills. Players must be focused on the situation at hand to win points that will win the game. It has different levels of difficulty, so parents are able to engage children at an appropriate level. The game can also be played using different variations – for instance, players can do things such as create their own awkward stories, act out the reaction cards. Switching up the rules of the game a little will make it fresh and exciting to play over and over.

Training the brain through board games is a fun way for children to develop and apply their cognitive skills in an entertaining environment.  Awkward Moment is a great way for players to share learned experiences, recollect old stories, and give children experience in thinking about all different types of situations. Regardless of the age, it is a game that incites growth and learning. Children and parents alike can both enjoy being in an Awkward Moment!

APPLES TO APPLES CARD GAME

  • Improves logic skills
  • Increases memory cognition
  • Refine social skills in a group environment
  • Improves creativity

Card games are a great way to help us connect with family and friends and opens the door to countless hours of entertainment. Aside from being used as a fun way to socialize and pass the time, there are other benefits to playing cards worth keeping in mind. Games like Apples to Apples are an immersive way to help players improve cognition by practicing skills like logic and memory retention. They also offer a way for children to develop healthy social skills. Social interaction is a huge advantage that classic card games have over more technology-based activities that have recently become so popular.

When playing Apples to Apples, players are dealt seven red cards that each have a noun on it. Every round, a green card will be drawn that lists some sort of characteristic. Players will choose which card from their hand they think most closely relates to the green card. The chosen cards are given anonymously to the judge, who determines the round winner. Players rotate into the role of the judge with each round. Choosing which card to lay down each round is a practice in logic and critical-thinking. A unique aspect of the game is how winners are determined — since the role of the judge changes every round and he or she chooses a winner subjectively, knowing your audience is an important component. Players who use observation and memory skills to recognize patterns will have an advantage in predicting which card a judge might choose. This also encourages players to think outside the box and get creative when choosing cards.

Apples to Apples is great to play in just about any social setting. The nature of the game makes it an especially good breaker when making new friends or getting to know peers and classmates. Learning effective communication and building social bonds is essential for children in order to develop confidence and skills that can be applied in many aspects of life, from school to future employment and beyond.

THE BENEFITS OF PLAYING WITH MARBLE RUN

  • Promotes engineering and building
  • Enhances creativity
  • Engages problem solving
  • Develops cognitive abilities

As children grow, it is important to be able to teach life skills and encourage mental development in a fashion that is both effective, but also fun. If your child is not engaged in what they are doing, then their attention will roam, and they will miss out on the benefits you are trying to give them.

Games like Marble Run give children the ability to construct, create and play with countless tracks and pieces that stimulate their need for a creative outlet alongside the ability to problem solve.  The sky is the limit when it comes to possibilities with games like this. Being able to create new structures that will guide each marble on its path is both fun to do in the moment, as well as imparts a feeling of satisfaction in the physical building of something new.  Each piece placement is a new decision that gently challenges the child to follow a sequence of events, and it is up to the builder to decide what pieces work best together to create their vision and which ones get in the way. All these attributes create a great way to teach problem solving while having fun. When one-piece doesn’t match well with another, it puts the child into a situation where they must engage their cognitive abilities to formulate a solution to getting them to their goal.  The more something like Marble Run is played, the more it engages their memory about what worked last time, helping guide their decisions and creativity about how the sequence should go next. 

A great creative outlet, building piece by piece a structure that guides a parade of marbles is also a magnificent way to introduce your child into various motor skills that can teach basic engineering concepts and cognitive skills in a subtle but efficient way.  Anticipating how to use gravity      to your advantage, each marble slides down connecting paths that      eventually lead to success as the marble makes its way to the finish line.  Since each pathway the child adds to the structure follows the laws of gravity, it allows children to begin to instinctively anticipate situations where they have to adapt to avoid the marbles getting stuck in one sole place before reaching the goal.  Helping children organically build mental and physical skills is obviously a goal of all parents.  Being able to do it while providing countless hours of fun is a great way to keep toddlers mentally active while having fun.

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF SWIMMING

  • Swimming is not only fun, but it’s a great way to keep fit
  • Swimming is low-impact and has many physical and mental health benefits
  • Builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular rigidity
  • Swimming is a healthy activity that you can do for your entire life

Swimming is an excellent recreational activity for people of all ages. Recreational swimming not only provides a low-impact workout, but it’s also a good way to relax and de-stress. Common swimming styles in recreational swimming are the dog paddle, the breaststroke, the backstroke, sidestroke, etc.

Swimming is an excellent way to workout your entire body, as well as strengthen your cardiovascular system. It is said that an hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running, without all the negative impact on your bones and joints.

Some people who enjoy and show aptitude at swimming may be inclined to take it to a competitive level. This can provide the health benefits of a more intense workout, as well as the fun and thrill of competition and comradery. Some of the competitive swimming styles commonly seen are the breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. The distances in a swimming competition can vary from 50 Meters in a pool to much further distances in open bodies of water. Swimming may even help reduce some types of chronic pain or improve your recovery from an injury, when applied correctly. One study showed that people with arthritis reported a significant reduction in joint pain and stiffness, and experienced a better physical range after engaging in activities like swimming.

Swimming may even have a beneficial effect and improve your recovery from mental  injury, and degrading capability. One study evaluated a small group of people with dementia and found a distinct improvement in mood after participating in a 12-week structured aquatic program. Swimming and aquatic workouts aren’t just for people with dementia, of course. Exercise has been shown to boost mood in people straight across the board and is highly recommended as a great healthy pastime in moderation.

A couple things to note: It’s a good idea to warm up by stretching your muscles and bending joints before you enter the water.  Also, remember not to over do it if you’re just starting out!

THE BENEFITS OF PLAYING MAGNA TILES

  • Promotes critical thinking 
  • Imaginative play 
  • Engages problem solving  
  • Develops cognitive abilities 
  • Pattern distinguishing 

As children develop their ability to create, play, and imagine, it is important to nurture those qualities in a fun and scholastic way. Engaging your toddler with toys that encourage them to think, solve and construct their ideas into reality is an effective method to accomplish this while embracing a fun and healthy environment.  Being able to take control and make decisions based on what the child’s imagination wants to create is just the start to what can be an efficient way to build cognitive abilities.

Magna Tiles give children the chance to imagine, plan, create, and express themselves in a creative and educational way.  At its most basic level, each tile connects to each other, forming a pattern or a shape, but it is important to distinguish what benefits it provides as well.  When playing with a toy such as Magna Tiles, a toddler’s imagination increases and opens the door to the many combinations of shapes and sizes they can form.  For each design that pops into their mind, there is a pattern of tiles that can make that a reality.  Alongside this, they get a taste of problem solving whenever they have to think through which tile to use to get them to their desired creation.  This promotes critical abilities of logicing through problems, aiding in cognitive improvement and the practice of essential motor skills.   

Being creative is not only fun, but it inspires toddlers to concentrate on an idea and to establish hand eye coordination through play.  Critical thinking with imaginative play is a great way to improve skills for further use at school and life in general.  It gives children the chance to independently make decisions that can lead to confidence building and healthy social skills.  Being able to provide children fun and efficient ways to learn and grow is always a parent’s goal and Magna Tiles is a great fun option to help them achieve it.

PICTIONARY

  • Increases logic skills
  • Helps Improve creativity
  • Improves memory retention and cognition
  • Helps refine hand-eye coordination

The game Pictionary is a great group activity that can engage children in creative drawing and the development of visualizing ideas.  Alongside this proactivity towards creativity is the practice of logic and problem-solving skills. A great activity for memorization and motor skill development with hand-eye coordination, these aspects about the game create the opportunity to teach children important elements that can benefit their education experience.

When playing Pictionary, logic is used in different ways. First of all it engages the player when you are drawing the prompt handed to you.  You must consider the audience and draw something that can lead to the answer for your team, creating healthy communication skills and logic skills at the same time.  The team members trying to guess the image and decipher what is the image drawn are using the same cognitive abilities, but in reverse.  Getting into the perspective of the player who is drawing necessitates the creative use of logic within the context of the game.  Pictionary helps hand-eye coordination by the act of drawing and focusing on what the drawing is to represent, and it helps improve memory retention and cognition by putting a name or title on the drawing itself and taking the win. 

Educationally speaking, Pictionary is a great method for supplemental teaching as well, bringing it out of the classroom and into the family environment.  You can make your own prompts related to any topic you want to teach or discuss, and as a team each person can draw out the identified prompt.  This can enhance leadership abilities and create a healthy way for teamwork exercises.  Pictionary helps break the ice in a social situation and it can engage children in a social academic experience, growing their confidence and practicing pattern recognition and memory at the same time.

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