Toys and Games

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.

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.

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!

CHESS, A GAME FOR THE MIND

  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Teaches creative problem solving
  • Helps improve concentration
  • It exercises both sides of the brain

Chess is one of the most played board games historically worldwide. It is played in almost every country and players ranging from small children all the way up to the elderly are able to enjoy what it has to offer. Why is this board game so popular, and for so long? Why do we teach children to play from an early age in schools? The answer is simple, this board game has been proven over time and many studies to be great developmental tool for education and mental abilities.

Chess is a fun game that challenges the brain, and the players’ abilities of strategic planning and patience. Scientists have studied the brain activity of people while playing chess and have found that both sides of the brain light up, engaging both the creative as well as logical functions, just like a musician playing an instrument. A player needs to visualize their moves beforehand, anticipating their opponents turns, and at the same time be present in a game that requires a high level of focus. A child can benefit from the multiple levels of thought needed to play a good game of chess in all aspects of life. Increasing their memory, logic, and mental capacity in general while enjoying some healthy competition, it is easy to see how the longevity of this game has come to be.

Mainly, chess is a game that works with and improves a person’s critical thinking skills. It helps children to think ahead of what they are doing as they strategize their next moves. Making plans and backup plans, assessing the situation, and deducting your opponent’s next moves are some of the skills that children acquire in chess. A person who plays chess learns to be detail-oriented, organized, and prepared. In the long run, those are great skills that apply to nearly any situation life can throw at you.

Chess directly teaches about problem solving and plan execution. Because of how the game is set up, players must think in creative ways to find solutions when their opponent challenges them. The child learns to see the different angles of a problem to decide what will be the right course of action. The child is building the cognitive skills that are crucial to success in life with every game they play. This kind of problem solving and strategic logic can be applied to other subjects like math and critical reading as they advance in their schoolwork.

For children who have difficulty paying attention, chess can be a great tool to help them to focus on one thing at a time. The game requires a high degree of concentration which helps children acquire the skills to stay focused on their ultimate goal, to checkmate the opponent and claim victory. One of the valuable lessons taught in chess is to not get distracted and be aware of the pieces and their potential moves, both for themselves and their opponents. Players need to devote all their attention to the board in order to play well – a good lesson to learn early on in life. Once you learn to play chess, including the more advanced strategies, the game is very entertaining and can be a definite source of lifelong pride.

THE GAME OF CHARADES

  • Helps increase creativity
  • Improve memory retention
  • Exercises both sides of the brain
  • Team building exercise

Charades is a classic staple for any family game night. This hilarious game is a favorite that has stood the test of time. Charades is both fun and relaxing; players who aren’t afraid to unwind and let loose a bit will find themselves at an advantage with this game. The nature of the game encourages different kinds of creative expression and will help more reserved players learn how to push past their comfort zone a bit in a way that’s not overwhelming. This type of play can be especially beneficial to children who may need to improve communication skills. Participating in teams forces players to learn how to work together using creative problem solving and logic in order to win.

A fun and silly game like Charades might make it hard to believe that it can actually also be a great brain exercise that uses both sides of the brain at once. Players will need to memorize a list of words, think logically, and create gestures in order to act out words or phrases. The players trying to guess the answer use logic and deductive reasoning in order to do so. Both the actors and viewers are exercising their brains while taking turns during the game. The game of Charades is also an exercise in memory retention. Recalling a list to act out later is a great way to improve the memory. Strong memory skills have been shown to correlate to improved study habits and test scores in school.

The importance of teamwork is a recurring theme in games like Charades. Players must trust one another and learn how to work together quickly and efficiently in order to win. This can be a great opportunity for a child to observe and demonstrate these behaviors as well. Learning to be a team member is not only important in school, but essential in the workplace.

MAGIC: THE GATHERING

  • Improves creativity and imaginative thought
  • Helps improve logic skills
  • Improve memory retention
  • Teaches Creative Problem Solving

Magic: The Gathering teaches two very important skills for a child’s development:  Creative practice and critical thinking. Playing the game encourages outside-the-box thinking in order to uncover different methods and endless styles of play. This unrestricted style of game play gives players the freedom to set their own game pace and use any card deck of choice.

When playing Magic: The Gathering, players have the option to build and customize their own deck of cards according to personal taste and strategic preference. Adding cards to a deck requires a critical analysis of each card. Preferences, features, and intended function are all things that must be taken into consideration before the card is added. Players must create a strategic plan to play the game in order to win. Plans are created through trial and error, analyzing past experiences, and visualization. The nature of the game requires players to expect the unexpected and be able to prepare for any number of unforeseen challenges. Progressing through the game of Magic requires critical thinking skills, memorization, and creative problem-solving in order to win. Since each player’s deck is highly personalized, the game is heavily influenced by what each deck looks like and how players have chosen them to function. The unpredictability of so many factors that go into play creates unexpected obstacles that must be solved creatively.

Creating cards and building strategy will encourage players to stretch their imagination past the confines of the real world — this is what sets playing fantasy games like Magic:  The Gathering apart. Practicing critical thinking and creative problem-solving are especially beneficial for children, and developing these skills in play empowers them to use them in other ways that reach far beyond a game.

FEED THE WOOZLE COOPERATIVE GAME

  • Communication skills
  • Learning to share
  • Motor Skills
  • Counting

Board games, in the right context, can be excellent  educational materials disguised as entertainment. It is a great opportunity to pass time and build social skills with the entire family, with the added benefit of teaching children important life skills while having fun. Board games are designed to be played in groups of two or more, which allows people to comfortably sit down and create the space to talk and interact with each other. A fun game that brings everyone together and is worth considering, is Feed the Woozle. This game, and many others like it, help children develop their communication skills by the simple act of playing. Children get to follow the instructions and have to learn to work together to win the game. The goal for the players is to cooperate in order to be successful, teaching children the wonderful lesson of how to share while developing healthy social skills.    

Playing games such as Feed the Woozle Game aids toddlers develop their motor skills early on. The game fosters simple hand-eye coordination movements such as moving a spoon up and down and forward to feed the Woozle. Also, it is a good way to practice balance and moving their body through space, such as holding a spoon steady to keep the food in its place. Pretending to feed chocolate-covered flies and hairy pickles trains children to eat using utensils in a giggle inducing fashion. This type of play correlates with learning to eat by themselves in the real world and balance the spoon until it reaches their mouths, instead of the floor. Besides, who wouldn’t want to eat flies and hairy pickles?

Another feature of Feed the Woozle Game that applies to many other similar board games is learning and counting numbers. A child practices how to count while feeding the Woozle some snacks. Depending on the number of the rolled dice, the player must put that number of flies and pickles on their spoons. Throughout the game the child is constantly counting the snacks and turns. The repetition of counting in each turn is a good way to establish a good foundation for basic math skills.  Additionally, the game has three levels of difficulty that can be played – once the child has mastered a level they can go up to the next. Making a game more challenging as skills increase is perfect for keeping engagement high, and your child will continue to play and enjoy themselves for years to come.

LEGOS

  • Creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

It is safe to say that Legos have become a cherished part of most people’s childhoods. Beyond being fun to play with, there is a reason behind finding Legos at day-care centers and schools everywhere. It is widely agreed that having visual and tactile aids helps children have a better understanding and learning curve in general. For teachers and parents, Legos and other types of building blocks are very flexible in that they can be used to teach children both inside the classroom as well as playing at home. They have been at the forefront for developmental education for many years. Legos and other types of building blocks ignite the imagination of children to find the solutions through creating structures and new fun worlds.

Legos play can be applied to a wide variety of different subjects such as math, science, grammar, and history. The toy benefits every subject, bringing the lessons from the textbook to the real world. Educators recommend using this type of toys in STEM programs. In math, the Legos can be a fun way to teach adding and subtracting, fractions, geometry, etc. In science, Legos can be used as models for engineering and experiments. In grammar, the different color of the blocks can be useful for children to identify the structure of a sentence’s subject, verb, and predicate. In history lessons, the Legos can be used to reenact important scenes, helping children visualize and engage their imagination on the subject which helps in memory retention. The important thing is to keep your child engaged in the subject with hand-on teaching methods.

Legos are great for team building exercises for kids at an early level. With guided supervision, children can work on a project together. They develop communication skills as they talk amongst each other to come up with ideas to create the final product. Legos reinforce the skills of sharing and communicating with other children or adults, which will help the child when they go to school and start doing group projects and engaging more socially. It further develops their communication and social skills.

Children’s imagination can flourish playing with Legos, or other quality building blocks. The mental skills used to first create the ideas in the mind, deciding where to place the blocks to make their vision real, and how to solve any challenge they encounter while doing it, are some of the skills a child develops while playing with Legos. It stimulates their senses and motor skills as they are envisioning their goal and manipulating the blocks in the real-world building process. This kind of activity is extremely beneficial for children’s learning potential as it’s been proven many times that working with your hands helps acquire and cement cognitive knowledge in an actively learning environment.

MONOPOLY THE BOARD GAME

  • Engages in memory adeptness
  • Teaches financial abilities
  • Enhances math skills
  • Practices problem solving and logic

Monopoly is a classic board game that has entertained groups of friends and families for years. Having been around for generations, it’s considered a piece of American history and is still wildly popular around the world. It’s no secret that game nights with friends and family are a great way to socialize and bond, but many games such as Monopoly are also great for teaching important life-skills. Monopoly gives children an introduction to real-life situations and will expose them to topics like economics, business, and taxes. Playing the game teaches math and negotiation skills, and is even a great introduction into how things like property ownership and taxes work. Children who play Monopoly will practice skills like math during the game and be able to take many of the valuable lessons learned from play with them for life.

The goal of Monopoly is to compete in overtaking a vast majority of property on the board. This encourages friendly competition between players and engages them to want to win. Players must navigate through the world of business and finance, as they analyze the pros and cons of property ownership on the board. Negotiation skills will be developed during play while players buy and sell their property strategically in order to get ahead. This is a great way to refine communication skills, as these are often tricky and delicate interactions.

Monopoly allows children to learn the fundamentals of business and finances to children in a casual and fun environment. Having a fundamental understanding at an early age of many of these important concepts will give children a distinct advantage for when they will have to navigate these in the future.

THE BENEFITS OF DOMINOES

  • Helps to develop critical thinking skills
  • Bond with families and social groups
  • Reduces stress
  • Improve memory retention

There are many classic board games that can be useful in classroom settings and have been proven to be effective, if unconventional, tools for learning. Games such as Dominoes are great for translating critical thinking and memory exercises into real world settings, with ramifications applied for the decisions made. Children benefit from games like this because they present them with challenges that require creativity and thinking outside the box. Dominoes is a game that requires a high level of strategy and planning in order to win. How the game works, a player analyzes the board to deduct what Domino tiles the other players have left, based on how they played each round. The game forces the player to be constantly guessing their opponents’ tiles and strategizing to block their moves in order to control the board and win the game. This type of skill can later be applied to lessons such as logical reasoning exercises as well as working through mathematical equations.       

In Dominoes, it is vital that the player stays sharp in order to win the game. The concentration and focus required to play well benefit children’s memory retention. Dominoes has twenty-eight tiles to use in different combinations; the player needs to memorize and understand the usefulness of the seven they have in their hand in order to effectively understand their opponents play options. So, when it’s the player’s turn, they have gathered the essential information to anticipate their opponents in order to make strategic moves to control the board, and ultimately win the game. There have been studies that have found that playing Dominoes helps children improve their visual abilities and even assists in the development of photographic memories. The way a child builds their ability to memorize the Dominoes tiles can later be applied to schoolwork for example in learning the periodic table, or in any one of the unlimited applications in the real world. 

Another wonderful benefit of Dominoes is that it can be played anywhere. Dominoes is a game that can be played in any social setting, whether it is a family gathering, or at a party with friends, and can even be used as a fun break between study sessions. You can play in teams of two or individually, which plays into variations of strategy. It is a great tool for children to bond with older family members since there is no age limit either direction for the game.

Dominoes is a great opportunity for a child’s social confidence and skills to blossom. Unlike some other board games, in Dominoes players are encouraged to have fun banter and conversations in between plays. Playing Dominoes creates an environment where players are encouraged to talk amongst each other. People of all ages benefit from this type of healthy competition. The game is a great way to boost endorphins and reduce any stresses of the day. Plus, it is an activity that can involve the entire family where everyone can unwind and just have fun together.

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