Whether your kid is 2 or 12, summer vacation is the highlight of their school year. Especially for the younger ones, since they get to stay up late and have fun with their older siblings. The older ones, however, utilise this time to relax, staying a mile away from books, and doing everything else that was forbidden during school days. As a parent, you might want them to engage in creative brain games for kids instead.
The major reason for this is that being on vacation should not translate into excessive screen time and the activities that children engage in should actually benefit them in the long run. We know that tearing kids away from screens is easier said than done since they are attracted to gadgets, and keeping them away is taken as a form of punishment.
So, we’re sharing some of the best brain games for kids during the holidays to make matters easier and help you stimulate your child’s mental activity and boost their brainpower.
Top Brain Games for Kids over the Summer Vacations
Here is our collection of the best brain games for kids during the summer vacations. We’ve divided the games into two categories, those that your children can play on their own with your assistance and those that are perfect for weekends or overnight stays with their cousins and friends.
Let the games begin!
- Building Blocks
- Word Search
- I Spy
- Board Games
- Simon Says
- Hide and Seek
- Passing the Pillow
Most of these games are true classics, and you probably already know how to play them, but allow us to jog your memory.
Here are some brain games for kids that they can play on their own or with your assistance:
There are many facets of brain development, and parents are encouraged to provide building blocks to their children from a very young age. While wooden varieties are best for toddlers, you can move towards more intricate building sets as your child grows up. Playing with blocks not only unleashes your child’s creativity and allows them to explore the different avenues of creation but also helps them recognise shapes and colours.
Perfect as brain teasers, puzzles can be found in a wide variety and are fun for the whole family. While you might find easy alphabet or number puzzles for the younger kids, the entire family can get involved in solving a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. Puzzles develop problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and motor skills in kids of all ages. Sudoku, crosswords, Scrabble, and Rubik’s cube are some of the other puzzles that your older children might enjoy.
Want to develop your kid’s vocabulary? Gift them a book full of word search puzzles that will not only keep them engaged but will also push their boundaries of knowledge and broaden their vocabulary. Word search activities can improve hand-eye coordination and concentration levels as well.
Role-play is perfect for toddlers and young school-going kids, who are not only curious about the world around them but also aspire to become doctors, chefs, superheroes, and firefighters like the adults around them. The age is ideal for getting them hooked to their interests with the perfect play set. While role-play boosts creativity and imagination, it also instils a sense of responsibility into your young ones.
Object recognition, cognitive brain development, attention span, and awareness of the surroundings can be built and enhanced with games like ‘I Spy’. Activities where you tell your child to find a particular colour or object from their surroundings also help sharpen the brain and program it to follow instructions in a better manner. You can even create a small scavenger hunt to keep your school-going kids busy for the day. For instance, a nature-themed scavenger hunt is perfect if you have a backyard.
If you want to keep your kids busy with brain-boosting activities that offer several benefits, try handing them a maze to solve. From motor skills to hand-eye coordination and problem solving, everything gets tackled in this one activity, and it’s a lot of fun, too. You can create your own custom mazes or get an activity book for them. The intrigue of finding a way out will most certainly hook your kids and keep them constructively engaged.
Summer is a time when cousins get together for overnight stays at their grandparent’s house. If you have a bunch of kids of different ages that need to be kept entertained, here are some of the best brain-boosting activities to keep them occupied:
Ludo, monopoly, chess, snakes and ladders, and dominoes are just some of the many board games that 90’s kids used to play with. Who needed screens when we had these? Bring that same charm and social interaction back for your kids by giving them access to these board games. Limit screen time when you have guests over or when your kids go over to their grandparent’s house and let all the cousins gather around a single board and play their turns. Board games are a good way to get your child to open up if they are shy in front of their cousins and these games teach patience as well since everybody has to wait for their turn to make their move.
Have a long list of instructions at the ready when you have a group of kids in front of you? Touch your toes, find the colour red, jump up and down, wave, clap your hands, turn around, touch your ear, and close your eyes are some examples of what Simon Says must be done by every kid. The one who doesn’t follow the rules is out of the game. This game teaches children how to follow instructions, to be patient until the next instruction is given, as well as enhancing their listening and interpretation skills.
Hide and Seek
Played both indoors and outdoors, Hide and Seek is a classic game where one person is the seeker while the rest have to find good places to hide. The more people involved in this game, the more fun it is. The activity allows children to think up good solutions as the perfect hiding place. They learn to analyse objects based on the space available while getting plenty of physical exercise along the way.
Passing the Pillow
Coordinating hand movements to the music and refining motor skills enough to be able to quickly pass the pillow are two major benefits of playing Passing the Pillow. You can add your own twist to the game by asking each child to recite a poem or solve a mental math problem in order to re-join the game if they are caught with the pillow in their hands when the music stops.
The game is also called Freeze and is simple enough to play, with each kid freezing in their movements once you call out Statue or Freeze. You can coordinate the game to the beat of some popular tunes, with the children freezing in their movements when the music stops. The game teaches patience and develops a child’s imagination as the children find unique poses to freeze each time and then have to stay in that post until one of them moves. The first person to move is out of the game.
Running, jumping, skipping rope, playing catch, tug of war, or even cricket or football is not only healthy for kids of all ages but also gives them a chance to interact with people their own age and create strong bonds.
These brain games for kids will help you and your children make the most of their summer vacation. The games will not only stimulate mental activity but also keep them sufficiently busy, keeping boredom at bay. There are also some other fun-filled summer activities that can keep your kids busy during the holidays if you are looking for more ideas.
Want to send your kids to a summer camp? There are a number of summer camp options available for parents residing in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest metropolis. Don’t be disheartened if you live in the capital. Summer camps in Islamabad offer just as much fun and learning experiences as those organised in any other city, allowing your kids to mentally engage and socially interact with kids of their own age.
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