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Thinking Games to Challenge the Mind

Why we should encourage children to play games that challenge the mind:

Here are some fun thinking games that will encourage your children to flex those mental muscles…

Sciencewiz Cool Circuits

Cool Circuits was Puzzle of the Year in 2013! Created by Harry L. Nelson and Hiroshi Yamamoto, this puzzle requires spatial reasoning and abstract thinking. Lay down a puzzle card, solve the challenge by making a loop, and watch the board light up! Cool Circuits has 40 different challenges ranging from student to expert. Can you solve them all?

Game Features:

  • A puzzle set that challenges the mind while pleasing the eye
  • Solve each challenge by completing the circuit to light up the board
  • 40 puzzle challenges of increasing difficulty from tutorial to nearly impossible
  • Includes light-up game board, 8 3D fluorescent circuit pieces, 40 puzzle cards and solution book
  • For ages 8 to 80 – everyone will enjoy this great game

See More from Science Wiz

Gravity Maze by Think Fun

This gravity powered logic maze is sure to put your visual perception and reasoning skills to the test. The colorful, translucent towers can be arranged in a plethora of visually stimulating structures but, for each challenge, you’ll have to think carefully to build a path that will successfully carry your marble to its target. 60 challenges, ranging in difficulty, will give you plenty of creative building time while you maneuver the maze in your mind!

Game Features:

  • Falling Marble Logic Game
  • A marble run and logic puzzle all in one
  • 60 challenges ranging from beginner to expert
  • Builds special reasoning and planning skills
  • Includes 1 game grid, 60 challenge cards, 9 towers, 1 target piece, 3 marbles

Laser Maze Logic Game

Lights and mirrors may make it feel like magic, but it’s really science and a good dose of brain power that’s needed to direct the laser beam through this series of mind challenging mazes. From the makers of Rush Hour and the inventor of The Laser Game: Khet 2.0, the Laser Maze Logic Game comes with challenges by world famous puzzle-creator Wei-Hwa Huang. The goal in this game is to arrange the tokens to reflect and split the laser beam to hit the targets.

Game Features:

  • Logic game with a real laser
  • 60 challenges from beginner to expert
  • Builds sequential reasoning and planning skills
  • Includes: 1 Game Grid, 60 Challenge Cards With Solutions (Beginner to Expert), Instruction Manual, 11 Game Tokens – 1 Laser, 5 Target/Mirrors, 2 Beam Splitters, 1 Double-Mirror, 1 Checkpoint, and 1 Cell Blocker.

Robot Turtles Game

Robot Turtles is a board game for kids inspired by the Logo programming language. It provides crucial brain development and computer programming skills to children as young as 4 years old through the context of family fun. Players dictate the movements of their Robot Turtle tokens on a game board by playing Code Cards: Forward, Left and Right. When a player’s Robot Turtle reaches a jewel they win! If they make a mistake, they can use a Bug Card to undo a move. The game has many levels so, as the players advance, they will encounter obstacles like Ice Walls and they will have to use more complex Code Cards like lasers to melt the walls. Play continues until all players collect a jewel so everyone wins. Beginner to Advanced levels will make it a family favorite for many years.

Game Features:

  • Includes: large Game Board, 40 Tiles, 4 Robot Turtle Tiles, 4 Jewel Tiles, 4 Code Card Decks (45 cards in each deck) and instructions
  • 2-5 players can play at once and everyone who gets the Robot Jewel wins
  • Robot Turtles is the most-backed board game in Kickstarter history
  • It sneakily teaches programming fundamentals to kids ages 4 and up
  • Inspired by the Logo programming language, the game lets kids write programs with playing cards

Think Fun Adams Cube

The Think Fun Adams Cube is a beautiful puzzle with architectural roots. This puzzle combines six games in one with each side of this translucent cube offering a new challenge. The goal is to arrange the five puzzle pieces within a polygon frame with some being more complex than others. Solve one and move on to the next for lasting fun. The ingenious design allows game pieces and instruction booklet to be stored inside the cube for the next round.

ThinkFun Swish

ThinkFun’s Swish is a fast-paced card game that challenges players to flex their mental muscles as they try to out-Swish their competitors. Designed to challenge spatial intelligence, Swish is easy to learn and addictively fun for players eight years and older. Get ready to stretch your mental noodle with this engaging card game.

Game Features:

  • Exercise Your Brain with Lively Play: Swish is a thinking game designed to accommodate a variety of skill levels so that adults and kids can play together. To play, players examine 16 cards laid out on a table and try to create more matches than their competitors to win. Matches are created by stacking two or more cards on top of one another so that a colored hoop matches up with the same color ball on a different card. When you make a match, you keep the cards. When all the cards are claimed, the player with the most cards wins.
  • Visually Appealing and Brain Teasing: This fast-paced game’s visually appealing graphic elements keep players engaged throughout the action. The brightly colored hoops and balls are printed on transparent cards that can be stacked to form multiple matches in a single turn. Use your spatial-recognition skills to see matches, even if you would need to rotate or flip the card to make the match work.
  • Multiple Levels of Play for All Ages: The rules for play allow for each player to participate at a level appropriate to their ability, so players eight and older can play Swish together. The instructions include tips to make the game easier or harder.
  • What’s in the Box: 60 transparent Swish cards and carrying bag.

See Think Fun for more brain games for kids.

More Brain Challenges:

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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