Humans have toyed with brain teasers since the dawn of recorded history. The oldest surviving brain teaser can be found in the Rig Veda, a book of Sanskrit hymns which dates back almost 3,800 years ago – though no one alive today knows the answer, which is quite frustrating, to be honest.
Almost everyone loves a good brain teaser, regardless of whether they are in in the form of a word riddle, numbers or logical puzzle. The mental exercise and the subsequent payoff are extremely rewarding, even for children.
Benefits of brain teasers for kids
Unlike for adults, brain teasers provide children with numerous additional benefits which can do wonders for their mental and psychological development. These benefits include:
- Perception (through identifying and interpreting data using one of the five senses)
- Focus (through sustained brain activity on specific data sets)
- Memory (through short-term memory manipulation of data and long-term memory search and retrieval)
- Spatial Processing (through manipulation of shapes and spaces of objects, images and scenarios)
- Executive Functions (a neuropsychology term used to describe the multi-layered and simultaneous processing of multiple brain functions)
In short, brain teasers are more than just games for the brain for children. They provide crucial exercises for the development of young minds. With enough variety and repetitions, brain teasers are capable of increasing the cognitive level, storage capacity and agility of children’s brain. In addition, brain teasers help children improve their vocabulary and comprehension using non-linear methods.
Aside from that, in home setting, brain teasers create a bonding experience between parents and their child. The safe and supportive environment also encourages children to be more confident and relaxed in expressing themselves.
With so much to gain, parents must be eager to obtain some brain teaser games for their children. And wouldn’t you know it, we already have a list of the top brain teaser games prepared below.
- Rubik’s Cube: Created in 1974 by Dr. Erno Rubik, this brain teaser is a 3-D puzzle that will require a wide array of mental functions to solve. With 43 quintillion possible combinations, children will draw extensively from their problem solving skills, spatial awareness, memory, focus and a host of other abilities to solve the puzzle. The best thing is, Rubik’s Cube will improve their mental agility even if they never solve the puzzle.
- Professor Puzzle’s Metal & Wooden Puzzles: Professor Puzzle is a Surrey-based company which produces a wide variety of wood and metal puzzles. Company owner Ben Meldrum claims to have learned the art of puzzle making in India. While the puzzles are nowhere as challenging as a Rubik’s Cube, this is actually a plus point – most children will be able to eventually solve the puzzle, and consequently, gain a great sense of accomplishment and a high amount of self-confidence at the end of the process.
- Hanayama Metal Puzzles: The Japanese company produces high quality zinc and metal alloy puzzles that require multi-stage disassembly. Their puzzles are probably not suitable for younger kids, but would prove to be an entertaining challenge for the older ones.
- Gamie’s Fun Puzzle Balls: Each set contains 12 engaging puzzles that will keep them occupied for the whole weekend. Gamie claims that their puzzles will not only help improve children’s problem solving and spatial reasoning skills, but also curb anxiety.
- Jigsaw Puzzles: Jigsaw puzzles are superb tools in accelerating the development of a child’s motor, cognitive and emotional skills. Owing to the wide variety of puzzles available, at varying difficulty levels, parents can actually create a structured program for their child starting from the easiest to gradually more difficult puzzles.
Image of Rubik’s Cube courtesy of Shutterstock