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Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.

No matter if you are 5 years old or 50 years old, your brain is never too old for learning. Did you know the brain operates on the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb? Pretty impressive right! With that said, like any adult, kids get tired of the constant overload of information, whether it be at home or in school. The key is to keep the brain working, but in a way that isn’t overbearing for your child.

Whoever came up with the myth that we only use 10% of our brains was dead wrong. Surprisingly enough, our brains can hold 100 terabytes of information, which is 5 times more information than the National Archives of Great Britain. Not to mention, our brains are the most active while we are sleeping. So if you think your child’s brain can’t handle it, think again!

To engage your child in learning, they don’t have to constantly be reading textbooks or solving math problems. The best way to incorporate learning in your child’s everyday “diet,” especially during the summer months when they are out of school, is through games.

Games help kids improve the Big 5. What is the Big 5 you say? The Big 5 includes all the parts that make up our cognitive development: Memory, Critical Thinking, Visual Perception, Coordination, and last but not least, word skills.

During the summer months, it is even more important to get your kids involved activities and games that enhance academic learning and brain activity. The sad truth is, all young people experience learning losses when they are not engaged in educational activities. In fact, students typically score lower on standardized tests as the end of summer vacation then they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.

If there is anything we can teach our children, it is knowledge is never wasted.

To kick-start your child’s cognitive development and creativity, use these fun five game ideas to challenge your child.

5 Games to Spark the Big 5

  1. Critical Thinking

Lutso – Lutso is a game that engages the frontal cortex and occipital lobe. Matching the marbles with the shapes teaches kids to think about how to position both the marbles and the shapes, much like chess. Learn how to play, click here.

2. Memory 

Memory Match 36 – Not to be biased, but this is one of our favorites! This fun matching game teaches kids to remember where each color or shape is positioned on the board. Challenge your child to a memory match and see who comes out ahead. The extra bonus with this game is that it comes with double-sided cards that help kids match colors, numbers, animals, letters, and more. Learn how to play, click here.

3. Coordination

Perplexus Epic – It’s no secret that we are always encouraging activities and games that improve balance and coordination. It’s one of the key ingredients to improving motor skills and cognitive development. The perplexus sharpens a child’s fine motor skills and improves hand-eye coordination. Not to mention, our students love it! The 3-D labyrinth gives kids the opportunity to flip, shift, and twist the marble through the maze. This activity sharpens your child’s fine motor skills and improves hand-eye coordination. Learn how to play, click here.

4. Visual Perception

Logiq Tower – This is a great jigsaw puzzle to get the brain working. The 15 pieces have more than 22,000 possible solutions. Any type of jigsaw puzzle builds visual perception, creative thinking, and deductive reasoning. Learn how to play, click here.

5. Word Skills

Snatch-It – The most important thing to remember when it comes to word skills is that it is not about speed it is about accuracy.  Snatch-It is a great game to improve your child’s reading and spelling skills, but no need to take it too fast. Let them take their time as you turn over the titles so they can find and spell words as they see them. Learn how to play, click here.

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