If you’re trying to combine education with entertainment this holiday season you’re not alone. The aisles of kids toys are packed with high-tech gadgets promise to challenge the mind. So which ones are good?
From the card game “Blink” to the 3D tic-tac-toe “Cubulus,” games to feed the brain are everywhere. To help sort through the options,Evie Malaia, a neuroscience researcher atUT Arlington’s College of Education and Debbie Cockerham, the managing director of the Research and Learning Center at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, helped develop a holiday gift guide.
The “Neuroscience Primer” is meant to help parents engage children ages 5 to 10 in science, technology, engineering and math concepts.
“Learning is a very social experience,” says Debbie Cockerham. “Interacting with others can actually help to strengthen learning.”
Also, she says, many skills can’t be taught in a classroom. “[Games] give children the opportunity to practice the skills in a fun, non-threatening environment.”
Among other games, the gift guide features:
- Blink – promotes task switching
- Cubulus – helps with spatial cognition
- Fish Stix – supports the ability to negotiate interpersonal relationships
- Rat-A-Tat-Cat – encourages the ability to reason with numerical concepts
- Simon – helps with memory encoding
What Game Is Right For Your Kid?
The really important factor to consider is your own child. What is his developmental level? How well can he maintain attention? And also, what will he enjoy playing? You might even want to be sure it’s a game you enjoy.
If you’d like to try some of the games or discuss them with research educators before you buy them, you can check them out at the Research and Learning Center at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History on Saturday Dec. 13, Saturday Jan. 3, and Saturday Jan. 10.