Development of your child’s mind is likely something that you have considered more than you would have though. There have been extensive studies discussing the development of the mind and how the way we school and parent affects our children’s development – especially in the area of analytical skill development.
Have you attended a homeschool convention or even gone to an educational store recently? They are loaded with analytical games for children. These games are specially designed to work on the growing and developing areas in a child’s mind.
But finding a fun way to develop those skills is important to us. It may be to you as well. And you don’t have to spend a great deal of money on those special, and usually expensive, educational games that are available at the homeschool convention and the educational store. Here are some games that you can play with a simple deck of cards that can help hone those analytical skills and help your kids (and many even you) grow.
We all remember playing memory when we were kids. You have likely played memory with your kiddos at some point. And though it seems like a rudimentary game, the skills is works on in the brain are vital and even continuing to practice this game can help you with continue to exercise and grow the mind. You may even have some fun memory game cards lying around the house. But if you don’t, any deck of cards will do.
How to Play: Choose a quantity of cards. You don’t want the game to be too overwhelming if you have young kids so consider using a selection of the cards. No more than half the deck. (Make sure you have the matches to all your cards before you begin. A pair of each.) Spread the cards our on the table, face down. Each player, on his turn, chooses to turn over 2 cards. If the 2 cards match, that player takes the match. If they do not match, then the cards are turned back over face down and the next player takes their turn. The players want to remember where they last saw the card and find the match. When all the cards have been matched, the player with the most matches wins.
What it develops: This games helps to develop the child’s memory skills. It helps his ability to divide logically the symbols into groups. Though very simple, this game can be very good for many ages and is great for memory development.
Remember playing War when you were younger? I actually always enjoyed the game. It was fast paced and easy to play. And though just thinking fast can be an important skill to develop and the traditional game of War can be fun, for continued brain development, consider changing up the game a little.
How to Play: If you don’t know how to play the traditional War game, you split the deck evenly between the number of players that are playing the game. You can play with as little as 2 people. Each player turns up a card at the same time and the player with the higher card takes both cards and puts them, face down, on the bottom of his stack. If the cards are the same rank, it is War. Each player turns up one card face down and one card face up. The player with the higher cards takes both piles (six cards). If the turned-up cards are again the same rank, each player places another card face down and turns another card face up. The player with the higher card takes all 10 cards, and so on. The game ends when one player has won all the cards.
Alternative Play: Though the traditional war game is good, consider working through developing the fast thinking brain skills a little more by allowing the rules to change each time. Have each player take turns determining which card is a “wild” card that beats any of the cards (probably whoever wins the round chooses the rules for the next game or something). For instance, the two of clubs and the five of hearts beat any cards then the players have to be thinking of that as they move through the game as well. You could even make it more challenging by setting a range of cards as the jokers.
What it develops: In addition to fast thinking and logic, the game of war, by changing the rules each time, develops some critical thinking skills by remembering the new rules and watching for the card as the game progresses.
Another game, kinda like Memory but more complex, is the Group Game. I had never heard of it until I was looking for brain development games for the kids and I to play with cards. Though the name leaves a lot to be desired, it is actually a good game with lots of flexibility depending upon the ages of your kids.
How to Play: Divide the deck of cards is evenly into the number of player so all the players receive an equal amount of cards. Each player on his turn form groups (based on what was decided earlier to be a group) and places them on the table. The players’ goal in the game is to get rid of all their cards by adding cards to the groups already on the table. The players have the freedom to change the position of the cards on the table as long as none of them gets left out of a group. This game is more complicated then the other card games.
What it develops: The game teaches the players to make decisions based on optional following moves and to solve problems using their giving cards, which is in this case literally speaking. The game is likely not for little kids as it does take more advanced thinking and strategic planning. It is also considered to be more competitive and suspenseful though very family friendly and fun.
Card games are an excellent way to work on brain development in your children. Building those analytical skills is important and having fun while doing it is even better. In addition to the analytical development, playing cards as a family is a great way to build those family memories while teaching some life lessons like you don’t always win, how to lose gracefully, and it even builds confidence. What kid isn’t going to find a little confidence when they beat mom and dad in a game of strategy or even luck?
Consider some of these games the next time you are looking for some quality fun, family time. And if you have some other games that you like to play that develops the mind and boosts the confidence of your children, I would love to hear about them. Just comment below. Also, a name for the Group game would be nice – we have GOT to get that a new name!
Tell me your favorite card games to work on analytical skills you use.