Alternatives to video games and television

Brainjogging does not advocate video games or television – so what can tools can you provide your child so he or she problem solves and uses his or her imagination?  There are several things you can do at home with your child, or that your child can do alone and/or with other children.  These activities are all healthy, cognitively-enhancing alternatives to television and video games.  The following are several simple, truly useful tools and activities that nourish children’s imaginations as they gain real-life experience:

Action figures
Action figures increase children’s visual motor skills, spatial skills, strategic planning skills, concentration and creativity.  Winston Churchill considered action figures one of his favorite toys:

Winston Churchill achieved enormous success, which might partially be attributed to the hands-on activities he enjoyed during childhood.

Churchill placed a map of Europe on his floor and planned maneuvers for hours on end with his toy soldiers; this play undoubtedly contributed to the successful outcome of World War II.

Light-up yoyo (or a basic, solid yo-yo)
Yoyos enhance children’s fine motor skills, dexterity, spatial planning skills and muscle coordination.  Additionally, children love yo-yoing!  Learning yo-yo tricks is challenging; there will be frustrated moments for your child, but these moments present challenges the child must work through.  Yo-yoing also assists children with peripheral vision.

There are also several games that Brainjogging uses to increase students’ vocabularies and mental agility.  You might have some of these games on-hand already in your home; others are easy to purchase or simulate.

Taboo enhances word retrieval, builds vocabulary skills, increases one’s ability to think and create synonyms.

Mad Gab
Mad Gab increases auditory processing, divided attention and executive processing.  It is an excellent game for children that are learning to read!  Mad Gab forces children to think about words rather than guessing at them.

Pictionary increases visual memory.

O, Monopoly; so many parents and children have turned to this tried-and-true game, and for good reason.  Monopoly teaches money skills, math concepts, investing and planning.

Simon Says
Simon Says increases children’s deductive reasoning skills, executive processing, numerical concept, planning, processing speed, selective attention, sustained attention and visual processing.  Simon Says can be played anywhere – and it delivers fun and cognitive enrichment.

Brainjogging always advocates incorporating learning in everyday experiences.  The aforementioned games and activities help children develop cognitively and socially.  They encourage problem solving and myriad other skills, all of which they receive in relation to other human beings, so they simultaneously receive socialization.

*Please note that these are only a few healthy alternatives to video games and television; there are numerous other games and activities that will nourish your child’s developing mind!

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