Get the family together and find different objects, one or two per person, depending on how many you are. One person is given an object and has to illustrate ten different things this object can be used for. If you are given a flyswatter, for example, you could say it can be used as: a tennis racket, golf club, fan, drumstick, violin, spade, microphone, bat, baton and paddle. Move to the next person with another object. Anything can be used in this game.
Roleplay with the kids
A fun example of a roleplay with your children is to make believe a day at school. You can let him or her be the teacher and the adults can be the pupils. ‘The teacher’ can hand out assignments and give grades on homework, while ‘the class’ goes out to play or eat lunch. ‘The teacher’ may need to deal with pupils who are misbehaving. This type of activity teaches the child to adjust to new surroundings and to collaborate in alternative ways to build new cognitive pathways. It’s also a way to interact with your children in a new and fun way.
Sort blocks by colour and shape
You really get to test and use your brain with this one. The game involves sorting blocks by colour and shape. For example, a child or adult has to sort all the red blocks, or all the square blocks, into a pile. This type of game lets children see how things work. It can also be taken a step further into everyday life by getting the child to, for example, empty the dishwasher and sort the cutlery in the drawers, or to sort the wash by colours.
Visualisation with picture cards
Place cards with different pictures around the house with your child. After a while, ask the child where a specific card is. For example, ‘Where can I find a card with a picture of an elephant?’. This type of game stimulates the child’s memory. Remember to swap out the cards after a few days.
Jigsaw puzzles and board games
This is just a matter of getting out all the old board games and jigsaw puzzles. These types of games are fun for the whole family, while challenging the brain at the same time.
By challenging your children to a weekly word test, you also develop their vocabulary. Teach them a new word every day, including its meaning. At the end of the week you can set up a word test based on the words the children have learnt during the week.
Write down as many words as you can, starting with a specific letter, in two minutes. Try letters such as A, I and K, or challenge yourselves with J or V.
Apps with brain training games
There are many different apps you and your family can use to challenge your brain and develop and improve different brain areas. Peak, Personal Zen and Fit Brains are good ones to help you to keep your brain alert and focused.