5 Back to School Games to Train Your Kid’s Brain
This summer holiday I’ve experienced how addicted are the new generation of kids to mobile games. When I was a kid (a long long time ago) whenever we went outside we played with whatever we had handy. Kicking the ball, climbing trees, jumping the rope and so many others. It was fun and in the same time it had other healthier benefits (i.e. keeping us fit, socializing, etc.). However, it’s not the case with kids nowadays. Every day during our stay at a seaside hotel, kids would gather in the garden to “play” but each of them had a tablet/phone with a game on it. Clash Royale, Roblox and other brain numbing games. They were outside but each had a device and instead of interacting physically with each other they’d organize avatar meetings and so on. It’s a pity but nonetheless it’s also a habit that’s very difficult to fight against. I’d send my kid outside to socialize with the others without a tablet, and he’d either end up looking at how the other kids play or be marginalized.
Mobile gaming addiction is only getting worse, so instead of fighting against it maybe there’s a way to help your kid actually learn something while playing. And since school started, I compiled a list of 5 popular back-to-school games that kids could play (or even adults) to train their brains. This way they are having fun while actually doing something to improve their memory, attention, problem solving, coordination and much more.
Peak: Brain Games & Training
Peak is a very popular suite of brain training games and was featured by Google as one of the Best Android Apps in 2016. Has millions of installs and is an excellent choice to help young minds train. You can see a quick demo of it in action here:
What’s even more interesting about Peak is the fact that it was designed in collaboration with experts in neuroscience, cognitive science and education. So they did invest in creating a suite of games that actually benefit the brain of the player.
- Suite of free brain training games. These help improve memory, attention, problem solving skills, mental agility, language, coordination, creativity and emotion control.
- Compete with friends. It includes a social component that makes it perfect for kids that want to socialize while playing. It allows comparing brain map and game performance.
- 35+ games. It includes a suite of 35 games (and counting) that can also be played offline.
- Advanced training modules. Peak also includes some intensive programs that train a specific skill
Peak is available for free on Google Play.
Lumosity has been for a long time now a popular player in the area of brain & cognitive training games. Their educational games are used by 90+ million people worldwide, and the suite has over 40 games. Their Android game is a suite of fun and interactive puzzles that keep the mind active, train memory and puzzle solving skills. While they mention on the description the word “adult”, my son had no problem playing the games so it is suitable for all ages. Here’s a quick demo on its gameplay:
Lumosity is backed by a team of scientists and designers exploring new ways to challenge the brain.
- 40+ brain training games. The suite of games ranges from puzzle solving, memory, logic, to critical thinking, math and word/vocabulary games.
- Workout modes. The games use your training habits and preferences to find different ways to challenge the brain.
- Training insights. You can use insights to see the strengths and weaknesses of your kid’s brain training (or yours) and see what can be improved.
- Mindfulness training. Meditation techniques help gain mental relaxation and there are exercises for that too.
Lumosity is available for free on Google Play.
I guess Elevate as in Elevate your mind. This is a brain training game that targets attention, speaking skills, processing speed, math and several other abilities. It has a Editors’ Choice badge from Google Play and while it’s not as popular as Lumosity, it still has 15+ million installs. The interesting approach with Elevate is the fact that it will provide personalized training programs that also adjust over time to help with the training. Elevate in action:
Elevate has a free version and a pro one that you can trial for 14 days.
- 35+ brain games. These games help train the critical cognitive skills like focus, memory, processing, math, precision, and understanding.
- Performance tracking. Track the performance of your kids’ training in a detailed way.
- Daily workouts. Personalized daily workouts that focus on the skills you need most.
- Progressive difficulty. The difficulty of the played games increases to keep your brain always on active mode.
- Workout calendar. This helps schedule the brain training process.
Elevate’s free version (account required) is available via Google Play.
Maple Media’s Memory Games is another good choice for logic games that help train memory/attention. They did choose a very generic (SEOed) name for the suite, but it also has a Editor’s Choice badge thus trustworthy. They offer 21 logic games and it includes a challenge mode for friends and worldwide players. This keeps the motivation to play elevated, as your kid will want to have a better rating and exercise more. The suite in action:
The game has over 1+ million active players.
- Simple. Boosts a simple interface with a focus on the actual brain training/logical games.
- More kid focused. The games are easier to play for kids, thus suitable even for small children.
- Play offline. No internet connection required.
- 21+ games. They do have less games than the others, but it’s the quality not quantity that counts.
Maple Media’s Memory Games are available for free on Google Play.
This is another game that received Google Play’s “Best Apps of the Year” prize, and was also awarded by the Ministry of Education and Research which gives more weight into how reliable the suite of games is. You can watch a demo of NeuroNation here:
The game is based on the research done by a team of neuroscientists and training experts, working on understanding if the brain/memory can be trained for 7+ years.
- 29 fun exercises (let’s say games) and 7 tailored courses.
- Training insights that show strengths/weaknesses and what skills have potential
- Personalized training
- Precise peer-group insights. This helps comparing the results with others’ to see where you stand.
- Engaging gameplay and frequent new exercises
NeuroNation is available for free on Google Play.
The goal here with these back-to-school games suggestions is to try and help our kids cope with an addiction by actually getting something back from playing. I shiver though at the thought that VR is only growing in popularity and in the near future our kids might be hooked on virtual worlds.
If you’ve experienced other brain training games and found them useful add a comment and I’ll consider adding it to the list.